This is about thinking ahead and being prepared. It may never be needed but, if the person you care for does go missing, you can save valuable time in a situation which can be very distressing and stressful for them and for you.
While the common focus by the Police and other services is on finding the missing person, currently, the approach to finding someone who has gone missing, including people with dementia, can vary across Scotland. The first thing may be to contact your local Police and find out about the local procedure.
- what key information your local Police need to have, if the person you care for does go missing, to speed up and simplify the response. For example, this might include a recent photo and their physical description, their routines and significant places, up to date medical details of any condition they have and the consequences if they do not have medication, next of kind details, Power of Attorney or Guardianship arrangements, and details of cash or bank cards they have access to.
- what you can put in place now and how to do it – for example, how you can prepare this information now and ensure it is held in a way that is secure but accessible, to be made available to the Police as soon as possible if needed.
Since 2015, Police Scotland together with others (for example, local authorities), have been running pilots in three areas. They are looking at ways to safeguard people considered at risk of going missing and to prevent this, as well as ways to respond which ensure people are found safe and well. According to the National Missing Persons Framework for Scotland published in May 2017, the results and learning will be available in May 2018 and used to help achieve standardised responses and best practice.