MedicAlert Foundation Canada and Alzheimer Society of Canada announce Good Samaritan Award

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, whom may have become lost or gone missing, so that they can return home safely.

This year’s recipient was an individual from Vancouver, 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 man had young 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 per cent 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 British Columbians, but they also contribute to building a dementia-friendly B.C.

“We all have a role to play in making our communities safe, inclusive and supportive for people living with dementia. Individuals can make a huge difference by simply learning a little more about dementia and applying that knowledge where they work, live and play,” says Rebecca Morris, Manager of Advocacy & Education for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

If a member of the public suspects someone in the public has dementia and is disorientated, they can take the following steps:
  • Approach the person from the front, introduce themselves, and reassure the person they’re safe.
  • Look for a MedicAlert medical ID. This is a nationally recognized blue emblem with the recognized name MedicAlert and 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 and how you can support those who live with dementia, click here.

Last Updated: 11/20/2017