Who we are

We are the Digital Leadership Team at Alzheimer Scotland, and we offer you decades of professional and personal experience.

Our local, national and international work is inspired and informed by families living with dementia and the professionals supporting them. Leading with a human-rights based approach, we advocate informed choice, respect and freedom from discrimination, and have a deep understanding of the wants and needs of People Living with Dementia.

Our models and products, including Purple Alert and the Dementia Circle approach are replicable and could be applied to your area of work. If you would like to find out more, or speak to us about how we can support you to deliver human centred service design, please get in touch.

How Purple Alert was developed

Alzheimer Scotland is the leading dementia organisation in Scotland and provides an extensive range of innovative and personalised support services for people living with dementia and their carers.
In 2015, as part of a number of innovation projects within the development directorate, in particular Dementia Circle, we worked with people living with dementia and their carers and identified two recurring priorities – maintaining independence and staying safe and well.

The issue of most concern was people living with dementia losing their way. In response to this, we began by scoping the existing services e.g. Police Scotland (and products e.g. GPS devices) that are proactive in supporting personal safety.
We also looked at services using technology to help find people, such as Silver Alert , Amber Alert and Child Rescue Alert.
Having acknowledged that a similar service would be beneficial, Alzheimer Scotland set out to develop a similar community based digital solution.

A co-production group was drawn from Dementia Advisors, Link Workers, Policy Engagement Officers, Police Scotland and Local Authorities, alongside people living with dementia and their carers, and they provided the foundation on which Purple Alert was developed.
Several workshops and focus groups were organised and led the way to what the service is today. It was evident from the start that a mobile app was the best output to deliver the service, and Taiga innovations developed the app based on over two years of user centred feedback. The app was designed from scratch, using the same design specification and test protocols used in Dementia Circle, to inform an inclusively designed app. Purple Alert app went through 18 months of product development, and was eventually tested in 3 major live test events across Scotland, in Tain (Highlands), Edinburgh and Glasgow. The live test events set out to test the app in a real life scenario, where we staged a missing person alert, with carers and the community engaged in the search. The feedback we gained was pivotal to refine the app and also to make sure it aligned to existing services.

Below are some photos of the Live test event in Glasgow, the largest we had, which involved representatives of Police Scotland, Glasgow City Council, NHS, Product design students at City of Glasgow College and many service users.