The guiding hand will help you instil trust and guide or move a person with dementia.
- Shake the person’s hand.
- Gently slide your fingers upwards around their thumb.
- Move to their right side and place your spare arm around their back.
- You can then move and guide the person in a calm and gentle manner.
- The guiding hand technique can also be used to assist a person into a vehicle.
- When carrying out a search make all people assisting aware:
– That shouting the person’s name can make them feel threatened which could prevent them from making themselves known.
– When feeling threatened a person with dementia experiences tunnel vision and will therefore follow a path directly ahead of them. This can lead them into unexpected places such as sheds, alleyways, wooded areas, dense shrubbery or a ditch.
- Once person is found follow general advice, as the right approach is critical in calming the person.
- Adopt a friendly and interesting tone when calling their name. E.g. ‘Ruby come and see this.’
It’s possible that a person may seek out an old address thinking they still live there. If this happens:
- Once the person is calm find out if they have any identification.
- Avoid transporting them in a police vehicle that has caging, as this is likely to cause distress and lead to potential injury.