Cleveland Police force has been recognised for the way they support the most vulnerable in our communities and reached the finals of a national award.

The Force has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards as ‘Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year.'

The nomination recognises that Cleveland Police was the first Force in the country to run the ‘Safe Haven’ scheme.

How did they do it?

The Force partnered with six local care homes to arrange places of safety. This means if officers are dealing with a person living with dementia who is found lost or disorientated they can seek refuge at one of the havens, rather than in a police vehicle or station, while officers make inquiries to assist them.

The Herbert Protocol

This is an initiative which aims to store information which could help police should a person with dementia go missing. The Protocol encourages the family and friends of the person living with dementia to keep a record of places they may visit to assist the police.

Awareness training

The Force has also delivered Dementia Friendly training to hundreds of officers, staff and contractors, such as those working in our custody environment. All of Cleveland Police’s marked vehicles display the ‘Dementia Friendly’ sticker to show awareness of how to assist those living with dementia.

To find out more about Alzheimer's you can visit the NHS website Credit: PA

What is Alzheimer's?

According to the NHS, the disease is most common in people over the age of 65.

The risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia increases with age, affecting an estimated 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 and 1 in every 6 people over the age of 80.

How to spot the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's

The first sign of the disease is usually minor memory problems.

For example, this could be forgetting about recent conversations or events, and forgetting the names of places and objects. As the condition develops, memory problems become more severe and further symptoms can develop, such as:

  • confusion, disorientation and getting lost in familiar places

  • difficulty planning or making decisions

  • problems with speech and language

  • problems moving around without assistance or performing self-care tasks

  • personality changes, such as becoming aggressive, demanding and suspicious of others

  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) and delusions (believing things that are untrue)

  • low mood or anxiety

For more information on Alzheimer's click here.

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a disease itself but rather a collection of symptoms that result from damage to the brain caused by different diseases, such as Alzheimer's. These symptoms vary according to the part of the brain that is damaged.

However, there are some common early symptoms that may appear some time before a diagnosis of dementia. These include:

  • memory loss

  • difficulty concentrating

  • finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping

  • struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word

  • being confused about time and place

  • mood changes

For more information on dementia, click here.