New ‘purple card’ system would help people with dementia

The language of Madeleine Fraley's purple card could be the basis for a similar card used by the state [Credit Dean Koepfler - The News Tribune ]

The language of Madeleine Fraley’s purple card could be the basis for a similar card used by the state [Credit Dean Koepfler – The News Tribune ]

By Allegra Abramo

Crosscut.com—February 11, 2016

Like many people caring for someone with dementia, Madeleine Fraley often found herself awkwardly trying to explain why her husband, Larry, couldn’t answer questions or would act peculiarly.

Sometimes Larry would cut in line at a store, to the consternation of people in front of him. Or he would follow service people working on their house in Port Orchard, asking questions or telling them to leave. Then there was the time he decided to hitchhike to the Kingdome — years after it had been demolished.

But explaining these occasional incidents in public sometimes meant embarrassing Larry. Fraley had an idea: Why not create a simple card explaining the situation that she could discretely hand to restaurant servers, the plumber and others she and Larry encountered? So she devised a purple-hued card the size of a business card that states, “My companion has memory problems. Please be patient. Thank you!”

Read the rest of this story on Crosscut.com

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