Free bracelet specially designed to help emergency services identify dementia sufferers is now available through a County Hall initiative.

The 'Home Safely' bracelet contains a metal plaque engraved with a community alarm phone number, and a unique pin number enabling police or health workers to contact the person's carer.

It has been designed for dementia sufferers who have become lost or confused about where they live.

Dorset County Council (DCC) adult social care spokesman Cllr Jill Haynes explained: "Most people with dementia want to stay in their home for as long as possible.

"A Home Safely bracelet helps provide peace of mind to their carer knowing that should they get lost, their contact details are registered.

"On in three of us are, or will be, affected by dementia - either as carers of someone close to us, or having the illness ourselves.

"We are working in partnership with local communities to develop innovative ways to enable people with dementia to take part in everyday activities and retain their independence for as long as they are able."

Anyone with dementia is entitled to a bracelet, which looks like a watch strap, is adjustable but cannot be removed by the wearer.

A DCC spokesman explained: "Around 14,000 people in Dorset have serious memory loss problems and the bracelet could provide a vital safety net to those who have lost the confidence to venture out on their own."

Go to www.mylifemycare.com/Memory-loss-and-dementia to find out more about local help and support available for dementia sufferers.

The Home Safely scheme is free to join. Call 01305 755800 for more details.