Purple Alert is marking World Alzheimer’s Day and its 2nd anniversary with a major milestone.
The app, which is the first of its kind in the UK, has now been downloaded 10,000 times by people across Scotland wishing to join the online community to help find people with dementia if they go missing.
This World Alzheimer’s Day, we’re asking Scotland to download the app if they haven’t already and spread the word about how Purple Alert can help. Developed by Alzheimer Scotland, in partnership with Police Scotland and partners from across the public sector, the Purple Alert app is designed to support the families and carers of people living with dementia during an immediate missing person search.
The app supports a Police Scotland’s National Persons Unit search, by sharing key information about the missing person at the point of crisis and alerts all users of an active local search, aiding to more eyes and ears on the ground helping with the search. Since going live in 2017, the app has assisted with 13 missing person searches resulting in all being found safe and well within four hours.
Joyce Gray, Deputy Director of Development for Alzheimer Scotland said: “As people age in a digital world we must be ready to provide solutions that enter seamlessly into their existing lives. From the outset our aim was to create a solution for when someone with dementia fails to return home or becomes missing. It’s a really distressing time for families, so having vital information to hand relieves some of that pressure and helps focus searches on places that are meaningful to the individual concerned.
“We have been blown away by the reaction to the app from families and communities who have downloaded the app or came onboard to help us share information about the app since going live. To reach 10,000 downloads ahead of our two-year anniversary on World Alzheimer’s Day, is a big success for us as we continue with our vision to unify communities and help create a dementia-friendly Scotland where nobody faces dementia alone.”
Lisa Moodie, who turned to the Purple Alert app to help support her father’s missing person search, said: “When my dad went missing, we alerted the Police first, then triggered a Purple Alert soon after. I still am amazed by the volume of calls and messages from local people, using the app, who claimed to have spotted dad. Thankfully dad was found safe by a family member but knowing so many people were looking out for dad was so comforting. I can’t encourage others strongly enough to download and register with the Purple Alert app if you know someone who is living with dementia, or not. It’s so simple to do and doesn’t take long at all. It is about being at the right place, at the right time, to be able to help a vulnerable person get back home safely.”
What is Purple Alert?
Purple Alert is a free-to-download app for iOS and Android smartphones enabling information to be shared at the touch of a button to empower communities to raise an alert and share information of a missing person. When a carer sends an alert, all app users (who have registered) in a 30-mile radius get a notification that contains an up-to-date photo of the missing person, information about them and places they enjoy going to.
To find out more about Purple Alert or to download the app, visit purplealert.org.uk.