Help for dementia sufferers: bus stop where no bus stops

A false bus stop in the clinic is supposed to help people with dementia

Most dementia patients in Germany are cared for at home by relatives, but some patients are also cared for in nursing homes or hospitals. In some of these facilities, bogus bus stops have been set up to help prevent demented people from running away. There is also criticism of this measure.

Most of the dementia patients are cared for at home

According to experts, more than 1.5 million people with dementia live in Germany, most of them have Alzheimer's. According to the German Alzheimer Society (DAlzG), around 80 percent of all dementia patients in this country are cared for and accompanied by their relatives. A few are also looked after in special villages for people with dementia. And also in nursing homes and hospitals there are often dementia wards that are tailored to the special needs of patients. Some of the demented people sometimes want to get out of there. Apparent bus stops are designed to prevent them from doing so.

Affected people often want to return to their familiar surroundings

It has been shown for years that the number of people with dementia continues to rise.

The number of people with dementia is also increasing at the Osnabrück Clinic.

In the beginning, especially when making initial contact in the emergency room, many senior citizens try to return to the familiar environment of their home, the clinic reports.

According to the information, the care of patients with a tendency to run away and run away is a growing challenge for the employees in the emergency room.

In order to get a better grip on the problem, a bus stop was built in the corridor of the emergency room together with the Osnabrück municipal works, together with the timetable and the townscape, to help keep "runaways" in the emergency room.

Recall memories stored in long-term memory

"We wanted a solution that was as unrestricted and as autonomous as possible," said Dr. Mathias Denter, medical director of the emergency room at the Osnabrück Clinic.

“Dementia research helped us here. People with dementia can still easily recall memories stored in long-term memory. "

That is why life-history "anchors" are so important for the care of the affected seniors. The frequently visited bus stop "Neumarkt" in Osnabrück with timetable and picture is such an anchor.

The Schein bus stop was provided with a picture of the old Neumarkt from the 70s and 80s. This is familiar to the affected patients.

The message was loud: here you can sit down and wait for the bus. There was no need to run away, because the bus would be right there.

Not everyone is convinced of the concept

However, there is also criticism of the concept of using the false bus stops in the care of demented patients.

For example, the medical service of the umbrella association of health insurance companies points out in the policy statement "Nursing and care for people with dementia in inpatient facilities" that sick people become nervous rather than calm when they wait in vain for the bus.

In addition, demented people would not be taken seriously in their illness.

Last but not least, experts criticize that the facilities that have installed the wrong stops functionalize the distorted reality of the sick, rather than giving them peace of mind rather than rest. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Compassion and Care: Tips for Treating Advanced Dementia Patients (January 2022).