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How to help a stranger who appears confused?

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Credit: Northumbria Police Facebook

With the NHS reporting that over 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, knowing how to help a stranger who appears confused is unbelievably important.

Just like the rest of us, people with dementia often enjoy a stroll.

It might be because they are bored, wanting to use up extra energy. Or because they are seeking familiarity, wanting to visit a special place. It might even be to help relieve pain or anxiety.

All innocent reasons. You might go on a walk for the same reason.

However, people with dementia have trouble with their memories and can struggle to recognise familiar places. Although walking about isn’t necessarily an issue by its nature, it’s possible individuals could become disorientated.

If you bump into a stranger who appears confused, this could be why.

So what can you do to help?

The police are prepared to properly assist vulnerable people, all you need to do is contact them. Until they arrive, if possible, remaining with the individual is a huge help.

As part of their dedicated efforts to support people living with dementia, Alzheimer’s Society has outlined 5 points to consider when approaching a stranger who appears confused:

“1. Get close enough that you’re able to hear each other and make eye contact, but not so close that you’re in their personal space or are making them feel uncomfortable.

“2. Make sure your body language is relaxed and open.

“3. Speak calmly and slowly. Take your time to explain and listen to their answers.

“4. Use short, simple sentences and avoid complicated questions. Use simple language and ask one question at a time.

“5. If the person doesn’t understand what you’re saying, rephrase rather than repeat the sentence. Using non-verbal communication – like pointing in a certain direction – can help make things clearer and easier to understand.”

Reassurance can also go a long way. You’ll know yourself if you’ve ever felt lost or confused, comforting words can make you feel significantly more at ease. Let the individual know you are there to help, possibly waiting with them in a public place such as a café.

Northumbria Police shared a social experiment in 2019, where they hired an undercover actor to pretend to have early onset dementia and ask for help. Approaching the public in Newcastle City Centre as a stranger who appears confused, the actor pretended he had lost his daughter and didn’t know his whereabouts.

 

The video is a tribute to the kind-hearted community that exists in the North East town, as many stopped to help and take the man over to a nearby policeman for further assistance.

In the video, Northumbria Police send the message: “Vulnerability isn’t always visible. If something doesn’t seem right tell us.”

However, there are also unfortunately people who ignore him, most likely because of the stigma around dementia.

The lack of understanding about the disease can make people avoid situations with those with dementia. Raising awareness of the reasons that people with dementia may be walking about can help reduce this negative association.

Teaching people the best way to help a stranger who appears confused will also encourage people to do so.

It could help change ‘many stopped’ to ‘all stopped.’

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Deborah James Awarded Damehood After Raising Over £3,000,000 for Charity

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Deborah James has said she is ‘blown away’ after being made a Dame for her tireless campaigning for cancer charities.

The inspirational broadcaster and author announced earlier this week that she is receiving hospice care at home after stopping her cancer treatment, and has said she ‘could have weeks to live at most’.

In recent days, the You, Me & The Big C host has raised over £3million for charities that have helped her over the past five years, through her Bowelbabe Fund.

After calls for her to receive the Royal honour, it has been revealed that Deborah is now officially Dame Deborah James.

‘I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away and feel incredibly honoured,’ she said reacting to the news.

She added ‘I don’t feel like I deserve this. I can’t tell you what this means to my family, it’s so much to take in.’

Her husband Sebastien Bowen, said the public support of the fundraiser has ‘brought a piercing ray of light and hope into this, the darkest of times’, adding that the Damehood is ‘so truly deserved’.

Downing Street said the Queen was ‘pleased to approve the honour of damehood’ be bestowed upon Deborah James.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed Dame Deborah as an figure of inspiration to the country.

‘If ever an honour was richly deserved, this is it,’ the leader said.

‘Deborah has been an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage has been a source of strength to so many people.’

Thank you for all your incredible work.

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EuroMillions: UK ticket holder claims £184m jackpot

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One lucky ticket-holder’s life has changed forever after winning the £184million EuroMillions jackpot. It means they have become the biggest ever National Lottery winner, operator Camelot has said.

Whoever they are, they have knocked the anonymous winner of £170million in October 2019 off the top spot. They have also become the National Lottery’s 14th winner of more than £100million.

The winner, who is yet to be named, is also the second person in the UK to win the EuroMillions jackpot this year, after someone bagged £109million in February.

The winning numbers were 3, 25, 27, 28 and 29 – plus the Lucky Star numbers 4 and 9. One ticket matched all seven numbers to win £184,262,899.10.

Senior winners’ adviser for the National Lottery, Andy Carter said: “What an amazing night for one UK ticket-holder who has scooped the incredible £184million EuroMillions jackpot – they have become the UK’s biggest ever National Lottery winner.”

The claim will now go through a validation process to ensure terms and conditions are met and once the ticket has been validated the winner can choose whether or not to remain anonymous.

What would you do with all that money?

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Baby P’s Killer Mum Tracey Connelly Set for Prison Release after Judge Gives Green Light

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Tracey Connelly, the mother of Baby P, who died after months of abuse, will be released from prison after the Parole Board rejected a Government challenge against its ruling.

The decision comes after Justice Secretary Dominic Raab appealed against the recommendation to free Tracey Connelly from prison.

Connelly was jailed at the Old Bailey in 2009 for causing or allowing the death of her 17-month-old son Peter at their home in Tottenham, north London, on August 3 2007.

Dominic Raab said the decision demonstrated why the system “needs a fundamental overhaul – including a ministerial check for the most serious offenders”.

Now 40, this was Connelly’s fourth parole review after she was released on licence in 2013 but recalled to prison in 2015 for breaching her parole conditions by “developing intimate personal relationships” online and inciting another resident at her accommodation to engage in “inappropriate sexualised behaviour”.

In a statement, the Parole Board said: “In summary, the judge has concluded that the panel did take into consideration all evidence mentioned by the application and made rational conclusions.

“The reconsideration decision clarifies that the weight given to the evidence given by the Secretary of States witnesses, who supported release, and the proposed external controls, was proportionate and the reasons were clearly outlined in the decision letter.

“The final ground on the rationality of the outcome was also rejected on the grounds of not reaching the threshold, as defined by law, for becoming unreasonable.”

The Parole Board, which is independent of government, received a formal request to review the decision to free Connelly last week.

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