A German nursing home for people with dementia found that the inhabitants often wandered off and took a bus, hoping to return to their own home (which in many cases was no longer theirs) or following an old routine of going to work.
Finding the wanderers often required the involvement of the police and was stressful for the staff as well as the inhabitants.
Then somebody had an idea: set up a fake bus stop near the home. The patients would go to the stop and patiently wait for a bus.
An article in the Daily Telegraph quoted Richard Neureither, director of the Benrath Senior Center in Dusseldorf:
'We will approach them and say that the bus is coming later and invite them in for a coffee,' said Richard Neureither, Benrath's director. 'Five minutes later they have completely forgotten they wanted to leave.'
The idea has now been adopted by several other homes in Germany.
A clever and inexpensive solution to a sad problem.
(If you come across any especially creative solutions to problems, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll feature them here. And if you would like some strategies for being more creative and turning your ideas into reality, get a copy of Creativity Now, published by Pearson and available from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller.)