I wanted to take part in the Virtual Dementia Tour because I’ve met a lot of people who are living with Dementia through attending Singing for the Brain sessions, and I thought it would help me understand the condition better and understand what challenges those people are facing on a daily basis.
It was an amazing experience and I’m really glad I did it.
I remember the first day I turned up at Police Headquarters in a brand new suit and entered what we commonly referred to as the dream factory.
I had always wanted to join the police, I wanted to catch burglars and make people feel safe.
And I can honestly say it’s a decision that I’ve never regretted – I look forward to going to work every single day.
Sergeant Nicola Barlow-Cook has been with Bedfordshire Police for 23 years. She tells us what it’s like to lead the search for a missing person who is living with dementia…
On 13 February, at about 7.30pm, Bedfordshire Police Force Control Room (FCR) took a call from a man reporting his 80-year-old mother, Margaret, missing. Margaret and her friend travelled back to Bedford on the same bus but were then due to get on to separate busses to return to their respective addresses. Margaret did not arrive home.
I was alerted to Margaret’s case by the Force Control Room; Margaret had been deemed ‘high risk’ because her family suspected she had early stage dementia. She had not been seen for a number of hours, so it was vital that our search was methodical but that we acted as fast as possible. I took responsibility as Bronze Commander, which means I coordinated the search.