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Lateral Thinking - Create a fake bus stop to help disoriented Alzheimer's and Dementia patients

Jennifer Goddard's picture

Here is a very creative/lateral solution to a potentially dangerous problem
(original blog appeared in

Unfortunately with some Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients they become easily disoriented and wander away from their residence. A nursing home in Düsseldorf, Germany, the Benrath Senior Center has come up with a creative solution. 

Staff noticed that when patients wandered away they often headed for public transport. By putting a fake bus stop at the front of the nursing home, the patients would stop there and wait for a bus. This stopped them from wandering too far.

"The seniors even tend to get lulled by the wait for a bus--they often flash back from their imagined past and snap back into the present. That single idea has since changed care at the senior center--the nurses now lead patients back from "other worlds" by allowing them to explore the conceit, rather than trying to convince them otherwise."

Listen to Radioblog's podcast where Richard Neureither and Regine Hauch explain what they’ve done in Düsseldorf.

Also you may want to read Fast Company's interesting take on the fake Bus Stop - how the simple act of design can make a difference.