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Getting lost in a public place; a nightmare

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
Now that my husband is VERY confused, he needs to be accompanied everywhere , especially in public places. He has actually become afraid of crowds. (For a while it helped him if I wore a brightly coloured hat, but now he can't even remember that.)

Like many carers of partners, I'm no longer agile and fit, so I can't scurry around fast if he should get out of sight.

I woke from a nightmare in which he had disappeared. Part of it was dealing with people who couldn't even understand my worry, and another part in which I was faced with running down an endless flight of steps and returning back up them in an effort to find him. What a warning!

Brightly coloured clothes seem a good idea....but often, after several changes of clothes throughout the day, I can't even remember what colours he's wearing. And, like so many older gentlemen, he doesn't much like dressing in bright colours. But I have realised that I should always memorise exactly what he's wearing, just in case.

On an earlier thread, someone mentioned coloured wristbands to identify a Dementia suffereer. There's a scheme called Purple Angel, which operates successfully in at least one hospital, Torbay. Their wristbands, or something similar, could be adopted to use outside hospitals. Some people thought it was a good idea, while others thought that identifying someone's Dementia was demeaning, and could even make the person vulnerable.

I think in Britain, we have something similar, and the logo is a FORGET ME NOT. does anyone know anything about it? And do they have wristbands, for instance?

My husband carried a card in his wallet, giving information about his having Dementia, and with details about who to contact if necessary. He lost it in a public place, and we never saw it again.

Personally, I would like to see a recognisable wristband for those who wanted to wear them, and an education programme for the public, so that more people would be understood and helped.

I suppose it depends on whether we think more people would help, or whether more would take advantage of a Dementia sufferer's vulnerability.

Meanwhile, for us, it's back to the card in the walket, and brightly coloured hats this winter!

Has anyone else got ideas about this?


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
Anne I know exactly what you are dealing with as this was my nightmare for many many months. One tip the police gave me was every time he went out to take a photo on my phone so we knew how he looked that day. I also spent £200 on a GPS tracker which sends coordinates back to my phone which shows me on google map where he is. As he is now lost as soon as he steps out the door this is partly redundant as he just cannot be on his own. I make sure he is wearing it though if he is with someone other than myself who might lose him more easily.

Good wishes.


Registered User
May 9, 2012
south-east London
Hi Raggedy Anne,

My husband wears a plain white cricket or bowling cap. I find them really useful to help spot him if he becomes separated from me when out shopping, at airports or train stations - it has helped me several occasions over the years.

My husband isn't one to wear hats generally but he has always accepted a white cap. It keeps him shaded in summer and helps keep his head warm in the winter.

Maybe your husband might accept something plain and white like that? It would save you having to remember what else he is wearing, or him trying to remember that you are wearing a bright hat.

My husband also carries a dementia card. Like you I worry that the wrong person will become aware of his situation and take advantage. Fortunately, on the two occasions where it has played a role in finding him, the people involved have been great.


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
My husband carried a pet tag on his key ring, which I had engraved with his details and a contact phone number.


Registered User
May 9, 2012
south-east London
Oh yes, I forgot that an engraved pet tag was one of the things I sorted out when my husband was first diagnosed, long before he actually needed it. That was thanks to Grannie G's excellent advice about three years ago. He was more than happy to put it on his keyring as I chose one with the Scottish flag design on it (appealing to his patriotic spirit) and it has helped:)


Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
I did read that you could wear the same colour clothing as your partner to help you both remember but not always possible of course. I was also going to suggest a photo on your phone every time you go out. I only have to stop and look at something and my mum becomes a whippet missing in a busy shop.

One tip I will pass on is if you lose them and the shop has an upstairs jump on the escalator and look for them from there as you can see more. If you can't see them then probably in the part of the store behind the escalator.

Good luck.

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