My colleague told me this afternoon that on Friday she stopped her car on the Glen junction of the North Ring Road after seeing an old lady falling on the (very narrow, precarious) footpath there and hitting her head.
Watching out the window as she approached, she knew there was something up with the lady. She was visibly upset and disorientated, and fell as my colleague was just driving past her. Luckily, she fell into the wall and not onto the road, which has four lanes of traffic.
My colleague saw other people drive past, but, despite it being a difficult place to stop, she knew she couldn’t keep driving after seeing that.
The old lady had a laminated prayer in her hand. She had dementia and didn’t know where she was, where she lived, and wasn’t aware that she had fallen. After driving around Cork for an hour my colleague took her to Blackpool Garda Station to see if they knew her. The station was closed – and no answer from the bell – but an off-duty guard calling in to collect something stopped to help her.
The lady had been reported missing earlier that afternoon after leaving her sister’s house. She’d been wandering around for hours, clearly confused and disorientated. They were worried sick and had been out looking for her with the Gardai in another area of the Northside at the same time.
My granny has dementia, and but for a couple of people doing the same for her over the last couple of years, she would have ended up on a road somewhere, terrified, in danger.
Please don’t keep driving.
On a related note, this man is currently missing in Dublin after disappearing from the Dundrum Town Centre earlier today. He too has dementia and he is very vulnerable. If you see him, his name is Declan.