Alzheimer's Society offering free dementia help cards to protect vulnerable Lancashire bus users

Business man and Brierfield Town Coun. Ali Ahmed, whois appealing tocharities to offer additional support toLancashire bus users who live with dementia.
Business man and Brierfield Town Coun. Ali Ahmed, whois appealing tocharities to offer additional support toLancashire bus users who live with dementia.

Vulnerable Lancashire people living with dementia face danger when catching buses via Nelson Interchange, a Pendle councillor has said.

Business man and Brierfield Town Coun. Ali Ahmed is appealing to charities to offer additional support to bus users who live with the condition.

This is because many have become lost, confused and stranded while trying to catch buses to locations from their past.

Mr Ahmed, who is also a part-time taxi driver and owns NBC Travel in Scotland Road, Nelson, said: "We've seen a number of elderly people who have become lost after travelling from a different town, some of whom don't have any ID to tell us where they live or who to contact in an emergency. It happens a lot."

Just a few weeks ago, the councillor helped an elderly lady who had travelled on the bus from Rochdale to find her great uncle's old house in Every Street. She lived in Nelson 30 years ago.

But when she couldn't recall his address, Mr Ahmed had to drop her off at the Interchange for her own safety and ask a bus driver to take her home.

"It was worrying," he said.

"The poor woman was in her 80s so we couldn't just leave her in Nelson. We were lucky we were able to work something out. Bless her, she was brave to come all the way from Rochdale.

"There was another incident about a few weeks ago where we had to take a lady to Nelson Police Station. She told us her street name but no-one knew her there. It shocked us that she only had her house key and a bank card and the last thing we want is people being taken advantage of.

"It's a worrying concern when you've got elderly people left alone who need to get out of the house. They need that extra bit of care and attention so we want to get charities involved to make sure they're safe. I think they need some sort of ID, perhaps when they apply for bus passes, so that we can get them home in one piece."

Mr Ahmed is looking for charities to join forces with his taxi business, NBC Travel, so that drivers can take people home safely.

Alison Wakefield, a Lancashire officer for the Alzheimer’s Society’s, said: “We are grateful Mr Ahmed has drawn attention to this issue, which highlights the importance of our on-going campaign to create dementia-friendly communities.

“There are now 446 such communities across the country and we are working tirelessly with organisations, businesses and individuals to grow this figure year on year.

“Put simply, a dementia-friendly community is one where people living with dementia are understood, respected and supported, and feel confident contributing to community life."

The charity offers free wallet-sized help cards that people living with dementia can carry with them when they travel. The cards explain their memory problems and give details of a relative or friend who can be contacted if help is required.

The charity also supports the almost three million Dementia Friends across the country. The Friends offer informative sessions that help individuals understand the condition and the actions they can take to help those living with it.

Mr Ahmed added: "A lot of people suffer from dementia nowadays so we urgently need to tackle this problem. It is a big issue and it's scary. If someone is struggling we can send them in the right direction but even then we're only half way there if we can't get them to their door."

If you work for a charity that could help, please contact Mr Ahmed at NBC Travel.

To obtain a help card, please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk or to become a Dementia Friend call 0330 333 0804.