This week we want to introduce you to MedicAlert, who, just like us, believe that people with dementia deserve to live active and fulfilled lives, and that with the right support anything is possible. We would especially like to highlight their unique ‘Safe and Found’ programme, which uses the Herbert Protocol to aid emergency services in finding and returning missing people safely. If you’re a carer and the person you care for has a tendency to go on unplanned adventures, MedicAlert’s services could be very useful to you.
MedicAlert is the UK’s only charity medical ID services provider and is unique in its approach. Their motivation is to do it right and help as many people as possible. They provide access to vital medical information in an emergency to anyone with a medical condition, allergy, or other health need.
The ‘Safe and Found’ Programme
In 2023, MedicAlert UK is launching the ‘Safe and Found’ programme in partnership with emergency services. Through use of the Herbert Protocol, this programme will support those living with memory loss conditions such as dementia. It will provide the service and infrastructure to support emergency services in finding and returning people home safely.
The Herbert Protocol
The Herbert Protocol is a national UK initiative where carers are encouraged to write down information about the person they care. In the event that that person goes missing, this information can then be used by the police to help track them down.
The idea is to have all the information ready and available so that it can be handed over quickly when needed. This reduces the time that the police have to spend on gathering information, meaning they can move onto searching for the missing person more quickly. It also means fewer questions and potentially stressful conversations for carers who are already in an upsetting situation.
MedicAlert provides a standardised Herbert Protocol Form on their website which you can fill out online, or print and fill out by hand. Many local police forces also provide a form on their website, which can likewise be stored on your MedicAlert digital medical record. You don’t need to submit your completed form to the police; just keep it in a safe place in case it’s ever needed.
How ‘Safe and Found’ Works
- Upon becoming a member of MedicAlert UK, you fill out their standardised Herbert Protocol Form (HPF) and submit it to them.
- MedicAlert will safely and securely hold a digital copy of this form, including a quality, up-to-date photo, for members living with dementia.
- You can then purchase your MedicAlert ID to wear while out and about. All MedicAlert IDs are engraved with their 24/7 Emergency Helpline number, a unique membership number, and the member’s most vital information. Some phrases could be: ‘I have Alzheimer’s,’ ‘I have dementia,’ or, ‘If I am lost, please call for more details.’ These can be life-saving for anyone living with medical conditions or other health concerns in an emergency. The peace of mind they provide can support confidence to be physically active and join in socially, and friends and family benefit from knowing their loved ones are safe.
- MedicAlert’s registered nurses will check every Herbert Protocol for completeness and photo quality.
- Following a call to MedicAlert’s 24/7 Emergency Helpline, the Herbert Protocol will be available to be shared with police and other emergency professionals.
- If MedicAlert is called by a member of the public when someone is lost, they will relay the details to the police immediately.
- MedicAlert has also created a Carers ID for carers. It has the words ‘I am the carer for a vulnerable person. Please call for more details.’ engraved on it, informing emergency services that there is a vulnerable person at home. If something happens to a carer wearing this Carers ID, MedicAlert can share emergency contact details and “in case of emergency” information to help keep the person they care for safe.
If you’re someone who lives with dementia in the UK, MedicAlert can offer you your first year of MedicAlert membership for free! All you need to purchase is your MedicAlert ID. If this sounds interesting to you, you can apply here.
We hope you’ve found this information useful! Dementia Adventure thoroughly encourages the use of the Herbert Protocol, whether through MedicAlert or through filling out a Herbert Protocol Form provided by your local police station.
If you would like to find out more about MedicAlert UK, you can visit their website.