Idea of the Week: Fake bus stop keeps Alzheimer’s patients from wandering off

A German senior centre implemented the idea of using fake bus stops to prevent Alzheimer’s disease patients from wandering off (their short term memory is not intact, while the long term memory works fine, therefore they know what the signs mean). As it is a huge success, now they bring the idea to several clinics in Germany.

The idea was first tried at Benrath Senior Centre in Düsseldorf, which pitched an exact replica of a standard stop outside, with one small difference: buses do not use it.

The centre had been forced to rely on police to retrieve patients who wanted to return to their often non-existent homes and families.

Then Benrath teamed up with a local care association called the “Old Lions”. They went to the Rheinbahn transport network which supplied the bus stop.

“It sounds funny but it helps,” said Franz-Josef Goebel, the chairman of the “Old Lions” association.