A German nursing home got tired of having to call on the police to retrieve Alzheimer's patients who ran away (to their often non-existent homes and families), so they came upon a brilliant idea: install a fake bus stop outside!
"It sounds funny but it helps," said Franz-Josef Goebel, the chairman of the "Old Lions" association.
"Our members are 84 years old on average. Their short-term memory hardly works, but the long-term memory is still active.
"They know the green and yellow bus sign and remember that waiting there means they will go home."
The result is that errant patients now wait for their trip home at the bus stop, before quickly forgetting why they were there in the first place.
"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."
Sounds like an excellent idea, if it really works. I wonder, though, how many non-Alzheimer's patients have been duped by it.