Purple Alert

A community minded app that’s helping people look out for their neighbours.

Purple Alert is a free app designed by people living with dementia and carers, Alzheimer Scotland staff, Police Scotland, Social Work, Dementia Friends Scotland, Health and Social Care Partnerships and telecare services.

  • Hugh and Ann tell us why they signed up to Purple Alert.

  • A 60 second introduction to Purple Alert.

Alzheimer Scotland wants to help find people living with dementia if they are lost.

With the support of people living with dementia and their carers, Police Scotland and Health and Social Care providers we have developed the Purple Alert app as a way to help find people.

The app allows carers to share the person living with dementia’s profile if they lose their way and allows for eyes and ears on the ground immediately helping to find them.

Purple Alert is the first app of it’s kind in the UK and it is available for free download to iOS and Android smartphones.

Alzheimer Scotland hope that it will be downloaded and supported widely by people in Scotland and that it will help find people living with dementia if they are lost.

  • You can download the app on iOS or Android mobile devices.

How-to videos.

  • Signing up to Purple Alert.

  • Setting up your personal profile.

  • What to do if you see someone who’s missing.

  • Setting up a profile for a person with dementia.

  • How to send a Purple Alert.

  • What to do once the Purple Alert is over.

Supporting material.


The Herbert Protocol

The Herbert Protocol

A form designed to make sure that, if someone goes missing, the police can get access to important information about that person as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How the app works, in plain english.
Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

How we use your information.
Purple Alert Flow Chart

Purple Alert Flow Chart

What to do when a person with dementia is missing.
Purple Alert Guidelines for Consent

Purple Alert Guidelines for Consent

Guidelines for involving the person with dementia in all the decision making processes.
Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions

The service T&C's in full.

The development of Purple Alert.

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. 



Dementia Circle is a service of Alzheimer - Scotland Action on Dementia
Alzheimer Scotland - Action on Dementia is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland 149069
Recognised as a charity by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, no. SC022315
160 Dundee Street, Edinburgh, EH11 1DQ

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