TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - To mark National Senior Safety Week, the MedicAlert Foundation Canada and the Alzheimer Society of Canada have launched a Good Samaritan Award to foster greater community support for people living with dementia. The award is designed to recognize members of the community who are willing to go out of their way to assist people with dementia, who may have become lost or gone missing, so that they can return home safely.
This year's recipient was an individual from Vancouver, B.C., who after spotting a 60-year-old man running erratically in her neighbourhood, did not hesitate to help. She walked him to her home and immediately called the 24/7 Emergency Hotline engraved on the MedicAlert® Safely Home® bracelet he was wearing. The 60 year-old man had early onset dementia and was quickly reunited with his brother-in-law after MedicAlert staff checked his emergency contact list.
"Emergency responders and police aren't the only people who play critical roles in helping individuals with dementia. Ordinary Canadians also have a role to play. In fact, about 26 percent of calls we've received so far this year have come from Good Samaritans," says Robert Ridge, President and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation Canada.
Good Samaritans not only help bring more attention to a disease that will continue to affect increasing numbers of Canadians, but they can also make a huge difference in the lives of people with dementia by taking these steps:
- Approach the person from the front, state their name and reassure the person they're safe
- Look for a MedicAlert medical ID. A nationally recognized blue emblem with the recognized name MedicAlert will signify the person has dementia.
- Read the engraved info on the back of the bracelet
- Call the emergency hotline to connect with a live MedicAlert operator who will contact the person's caregiver or family.
To learn more about the MedicAlert® Safely Home® program, visit medicalert.ca/safely-home.
About Alzheimer Society of Canada
The Alzheimer Society is the leading nationwide health charity for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Active in communities across Canada, the Society offers help for today through our programs and services, and hope for tomorrow by funding research into the cause, prevention and a cure.
About MedicAlert Foundation Canada
MedicAlert Foundation Canada (MAFCA) is the largest membership-based registered charity in Canada and it is the leading provider of emergency medical information services. For over 55 years, MedicAlert's mission is to save lives and it has protected more than one million Canadians since 1961.
MedicAlert® is backed by robust electronic health records maintained by medically trained professionals, a state-of-the-art secure database, and a 24/7 Emergency Hotline that answers calls from EMS and first responder personnel in 140 languages within an average of 5 seconds, all linked to customized identification products for Canadians with medical conditions and special needs. Universally recognized and respected, MedicAlert speaks for you, when you can't™.
Learn more about MedicAlert, how it works, and how you or a loved one can sign up for a service plan, visit medicalert.ca or call 1-800-668-1507.
SOURCE Alzheimer Society of Canada
For further information: Media contacts Tracey Tang, MedicAlert Foundation Canada, Manager, Marketing, Donations and Media Relations, Tel: 416.696.0142 ext. 1251, Email: [email protected]; Rosanne Meandro, Alzheimer Society of Canada, Director of Communications, Direct: 416-847-8920, Email: [email protected]