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Professional Carers

Professional Carer’s of People ‘At Risk’ 

Many people have problems that can leave them vulnerable as they move about within their community.  The dilemmas and concerns faced by the professional and family carers and ‘at risk’ people are illustrated in a series of case studies on this site.   A primary goal of the Safe Return Home system is to significantly improve the outcome of cases like these and to reduce professional and family carer stress in the event of a missing person episode.  

Paid staff and professional workers can make certain that all the relevant details on a person ‘at risk’ are recorded on the Safe Return Home system.  In the unfortunate event of a missing person episode, all identification details are immediately available for Police to use for search, broadcast and identification purposes–there will be no panic attempting to organise these details at the time of the incident.  To further assist, an on-person identification Medical ID Product can be purchased to provide additional security.

The public website will also list the details of the missing person if approved by the carer and this information can be viewed by Transport Services (train; bus; tram; taxi) and other entities such as Shopping Centre management.

Any organisation or service providing support to people that may have memory loss or disorientation may benefit from their ‘at risk’ clients being included on the Safe Return Home system.  Wandering problems are not restricted to a particular service type or one age group or even to a single disability or medical condition.  For example, 'at risk' people supported in the following arrangements may benefit from Safe Return Home:

  • Residential Services
  • Aged Care Facilities (hostels; nursing homes; dementia-specific)
  • Group Home Arrangements (eg: disability services)
  • Psychogeriatric Nursing Homes and Hostels
  • Facility-based Respite Services

  • Supported Residential Services
  • Retirement Villages
  • Boarding Houses / Special Accommodation
  • Private Apartment Services

  • In-Home Community Support Services
  • Community Aged Care Packages Programs (CACPs)
  • Community Options Programs (COPs)
  • In-Home Respite Services
  • Local Government HACC Services (eg: home help and respite care)
  • Nursing Agencies (eg. RDNS)
  • Private Home Care Services

  • Assessment Services
  • Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT)
  • Psychogeriatric Assessment Services

  • Day Care Services
  • General Day Care Programs
  • Dementia Specific Day Care

‘At Risk’ People who may be assisted by Safe Return Home

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias

Some individuals experience agitation and/or restlessness and feel the need to keep moving to alleviate this feeling. Frequently, the individual has some goal in mind. For instance, they may wish to revisit the memories, visit previous accommodation or wish to gain a sense of security they felt at their old home or place of work. People with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia are at risk of wandering and perhaps becoming lost in their surroundings. 

Adults and Children with an Intellectual Disability

Individuals who experience difficulties with daily living activities in areas that include:

  • expressing and understanding language
  • ability to acquire the skills necessary to recognize familiar surroundings
  • ability to acquire or use the skills necessary to travel independently in the community.

Role of Police in using the System

Police personnel are able access the Safe Return Home database if the carer or relative provide the police with the login details of the registrant’s record. Police personnel can then login and view, print or email the relevant information to other Police or relevant parties.The system has a broadcast alert that allows Police to email or fax summary details of the missing person in the case of an emergency.

What Type of Data is Collected?

The registration forms have been designed to provide Police with the information required to assist with the location and identification of individuals reported as missing or who are found wandering and disorientated in a public area. 

To ensure that the information provided by carers is consistent with the format utilised by Police, a systematic coding system has been put in place. The data collection forms have been designed in consultation with Police missing person sections and the database system was designed after discussions with a number of Police personnel.

Basic information available for all individuals on the Safe Return Home system includes a colour photograph, detailed description of person, contact details of carer and other listed contact persons.