Purple Alert

OCN ResourcesStaying Safe
Last updated on December 11, 2019

Purple Alert is a free app intended to help locate and safeguard missing persons with dementia, as well as providing peace of mind to families and carers. The app relies upon its community of users to cover as much of Scotland as possible.

The app has been designed by people living with dementia and carers, Alzheimer Scotland staff, Police Scotland, Social Work, Dementia Friends Scotland, Health and Social Care Partnerships and telecare services.

The instructional videos below were created by the Dementia Circle team at Alzheimer Scotland.

Downloading the app

The app is available for both Android and iOS (iPhones) devices. You will need a smartphone in order to use the app.

Downloading the Purple Alert app.

Creating a profile

After downloading the app you will need to create a profile for yourself as part of the Purple Alert community.

Creating your personal profile.

If you care for a person with dementia it is recommended that you also create a profile for them. Where possible, please obtain consent from the person living with dementia before sharing their personal information.

Creating a profile for a person living with dementia.
You should include as much detail as you can on the profile of the person living with dementia. In the event of an alert being sent out, if they were to go missing, it is this profile information that would be used to inform the community.

How alerts work

Alerts are only raised when someone with dementia is missing.

If you have created a profile for a person with dementia and you have sent an alert using the app that the person is missing, then the missing person profile is made public to every Purple Alert user within 30 miles radius of the last seen location.

A missing person profile will only be visible for as long as the alert is active (plus 24 hours after the person’s profile has been marked as found).

You can see alerts for missing persons beyond your 30 miles radius by tapping on the magnifying glass located at the top right of the active alerts screen in the app. You can then filter your search criteria further.

Sending an alert

The following video takes you through the process of sending an alert using the app.

Sending an alert using the Purple Alert app.

Responding to an alert

If you see a person you believe is the subject of an alert you should tap the I have seen this person button and phone the carer. You can approach the person and offer reassurance and you may want to offer the chance for them the care and missing person to speak to one another.

If you are unsure whether someone is the missing person, you can still check if they are OK and phone the carer for clarification.

Responding to a Purple Alert.
After tapping on the I have seen this person button your profile information will be shared with the carer if you contact.

Once an alert is over

When a missing person is found, the carer should use the app to record where and when the individual was found. It is estimated that 30% of people who go missing are likely to do so again so this feature allows the carer to keep a record of these occurrences.

What you should do once a Purple Alert is over.

Other useful information

The Herbert Protocol is a form that you can use to quickly provide the Police with important information about a person who has gone missing.

You can print the Herbert Protocol form using the link below and fill it with as much information as possible. You should then keep it safe to be able to give it to the Police if the person you care for goes missing.