Do you know what this flower is?
It’s Myosotis Sylvatica more commonly known as the Forget Me Not.
Considering the line of work I’m in, you would think that I would know that the Forget Me Not is widely used by charities and organisations associated with Dementia.
But honestly, I hadn’t really thought about it, despite seeing various logos and incarnations of the Forget Me Not.
I wasn’t aware that cafes and shops displaying a Forget Me Not in their window are ‘Dementia Friendly’ establishments meaning the physical environment has been considered and designed as such and staff are trained to look out for and care for people with dementia.
So what led to me thinking about this?
Well, yesterday I found out that these flower pins aren’t necessarily just a pretty broach, but are in fact often worn by people with dementia to subtly let people know that they have the condition.
So that got me thinking some more, if I didn’t know about it, how many other people don’t know?
And what could I do to help spread the word?
So with the help of advice from Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Association, I have written this blog.
What to do if you think a stranger is living with Dementia
Walking Off or Wandering if a common sign of Dementia, in fact according to the Alzheimer’s Association 6 in 10 people with dementia will wander.
Therefore, it’s not unlikely that you may one day need to help someone in a shop or café or in the street that has dementia.
Common signs and symptoms of dementia can include:
- Language and speech problems such as struggling to find the right words
- Sight and hearing loss
- Repetitive speech or actions
If you suspect someone lives with dementia then be kind and be calm. It’s important to reassure them and one is the simplest ways to do this is to keep smiling and not to rush or panic.
Look out for a badge or broach as previously mentioned or even a Medical Alert bracelet or ICEtags, which may contain details of a person to contact in an emergency.
It is likely that if they wander off a lot then they have useful information on their person to help you get them home again quickly and safely.
For more information on wandering visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.
To recognise the importance of the Forget Me Not we have updated our product range and you can now order ICEtags for Dementia on our website. They feature both the Medical Alert symbol and the Forget Me Not on one side and emergency contact details and any other specific care instructions on the reverse.
These are available either as a set of 3 mini tags, suitable for attaching to keys, shoes and clothing or as a full credit card sized card to slip into a purse, wallet or bag.
We will also donate 10p to dementia charities for every set of Forget Me Not ICEtags sold.
So, if like me you were unaware of the powerful significance of the Forget Me Not then please help us to inform people and help make Great Britain a Dementia Friendly country.