2nd February 2024

Smart wristbands designed to help people with dementia who are found lost are now being rolled out to the public in Wiltshire.

The hi-tech bands are a result of a collaboration between Wiltshire Police and its partners, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Wiltshire Bobby Van, Alzheimer’s Support, and Carer Support Wiltshire. 

They will be distributed to those who are identified as needing them via the Wiltshire Bobby Van, Alzheimer’s Support, and Carer Support Wiltshire. 

How dementia wristbands work

The wristbands contain a chip that are pre-loaded with key information about the wearer, including their name, age, and town or village they are from as well as containing next of kin details like name and phone number.  

They have a QR code that can be scanned by a smart phone, and the information on the chip will then be displayed on the phone.  If the wearer is found by a member of the public and appears lost or vulnerable, that member of the public can scan the QR code and contact the noted next of kin. 

The bands do not contain a GPS tracker, nor an alarm and are not a replacement for calling 999.

Angharad Caton, Missing Persons Co-ordinator with Wiltshire Police, said: “The purpose of the wristbands is to improve the way people with dementia are found.  Anyone who finds a person in distress or appearing lost wearing one of these new bands can help reunite that person with their carers and loved ones quickly.  

“We hope, with the help of these bands, anyone who goes missing will be found quicker and returned home safely with minimal police interaction.  However, they are not a replacement for friends and families contacting us if a loved one goes missing for some time. 

“Our officers and staff are also aware of the new bands and know what to do if they find someone wearing one.”   

How dementia wristbands support independence

Sarah Marriott CEO of Alzheimer’s Support Wiltshire said: “Alzheimer’s Support was delighted to collaborate in developing and launching the Dementia Wristbands project in Wiltshire.

"Giving greater independence to people living with a dementia, and reassurance to their carers, the wristbands will give confidence, and support people continuing to engage in their communities.”

Apply for a dementia wristband here

How the wristbands helped Kate and John (BBC report)