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How to help a stranger who appears confused?



Credit: Northumbria Police Facebook

With the NHS reporting that over 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, knowing how to help a stranger who appears confused is unbelievably important.

Just like the rest of us, people with dementia often enjoy a stroll.

It might be because they are bored, wanting to use up extra energy. Or because they are seeking familiarity, wanting to visit a special place. It might even be to help relieve pain or anxiety.

All innocent reasons. You might go on a walk for the same reason.

However, people with dementia have trouble with their memories and can struggle to recognise familiar places. Although walking about isn’t necessarily an issue by its nature, it’s possible individuals could become disorientated.

If you bump into a stranger who appears confused, this could be why.

So what can you do to help?

The police are prepared to properly assist vulnerable people, all you need to do is contact them. Until they arrive, if possible, remaining with the individual is a huge help.

As part of their dedicated efforts to support people living with dementia, Alzheimer’s Society has outlined 5 points to consider when approaching a stranger who appears confused:

“1. Get close enough that you’re able to hear each other and make eye contact, but not so close that you’re in their personal space or are making them feel uncomfortable.

“2. Make sure your body language is relaxed and open.

“3. Speak calmly and slowly. Take your time to explain and listen to their answers.

“4. Use short, simple sentences and avoid complicated questions. Use simple language and ask one question at a time.

“5. If the person doesn’t understand what you’re saying, rephrase rather than repeat the sentence. Using non-verbal communication – like pointing in a certain direction – can help make things clearer and easier to understand.”

Reassurance can also go a long way. You’ll know yourself if you’ve ever felt lost or confused, comforting words can make you feel significantly more at ease. Let the individual know you are there to help, possibly waiting with them in a public place such as a café.

Northumbria Police shared a social experiment in 2019, where they hired an undercover actor to pretend to have early onset dementia and ask for help. Approaching the public in Newcastle City Centre as a stranger who appears confused, the actor pretended he had lost his daughter and didn’t know his whereabouts.


The video is a tribute to the kind-hearted community that exists in the North East town, as many stopped to help and take the man over to a nearby policeman for further assistance.

In the video, Northumbria Police send the message: “Vulnerability isn’t always visible. If something doesn’t seem right tell us.”

However, there are also unfortunately people who ignore him, most likely because of the stigma around dementia.

The lack of understanding about the disease can make people avoid situations with those with dementia. Raising awareness of the reasons that people with dementia may be walking about can help reduce this negative association.

Teaching people the best way to help a stranger who appears confused will also encourage people to do so.

It could help change ‘many stopped’ to ‘all stopped.’


Sunderland suspend Jack Diamond after player is charged with rape and sexual assault



A Sunderland football player on loan to Lincoln FC has had his loan terminated after he was charged with rape.

Jack Diamond, 23, had been arrested after a sexual assault in Washington, Tyne and Wear, last year.

Northumbria Police launched an investigation, but have now charged him with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Lincoln City FC said the player’s loan contract had been terminated “with immediate effect”.

His home club, Sunderland AFC, said he had been suspended pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

In a statement, it said: “Sunderland AFC has been notified that criminal charges have been brought against Jack Diamond by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

“As this matter is subject to a legal process, the club will not be making any further statement at this time”.

The incident is alleged to have happened in May last year.

Mr Diamond, of Fatfield, also Washington, is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in May.

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Paul O’Grady Dies Aged 67, Just Weeks After Newcastle Theatre Performance



TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady has died at the age of 67,  just weeks after starring in a Newcastle theatre production.

The TV star, who was from Birkenhead on Merseyside, died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening, a statement said.

His partner Andre Portasio made this statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.”

“We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.

“He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.

“I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years.”

The TV star, starred in a theatre prodution of Annie just weeks ago in Newcastle as it returned to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from March 7-11.

O’Grady starred as the role of Miss Hannigan, the head of the orphanage who hates children. He had been due to perform the show across the UK up until November this year.

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Karen’s Diner on Tour is BACK IN NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE!!



Karens Diner on Tour Newcastle upon Tyne

Karen’s Diner on Tour coming to town on tour and ‘well if y’all show up in force we’ll either come as a longer term pop up or simply just stay put for a while until we’ve insulted everyone in the North East!’


Get your tickets here: Karens Diner Newcastle tickets


We have spoken to the top Karen who assures everyone who went last time that Bottomless means BOTTOMLESS!

At our pop-up Karen’s you will be greeted and waited upon by rude waiters who in return are expecting you to give it full Karen. A place where you can complain until the cows come home because we literally don’t care. You can expect good food, good fun and a dining experience like you’ve never had before. Let us know if it’s your birthday, if your name is Karen and for the love of Karen don’t ask to speak to the manager….

Your ticket includes a delicious BOTTOMLESS pizza and BOTTOMLESS prossecco or select spirits and mixers as well as select soft drinks drinks for a full 90mins

*We cater for all allergens

You will get full and authentic Karen experience – our games, our waitstaff and the full works. Decent food provided by the venue (we hope) and BOTTOMLESS booze for those who love a drink. This is a dining experience like no other – literally. Come enjoy the OG Karen’s from OG Karen’s.

Don’t accept imitations – book now to avoid missing out!

See our two below YouTube videos from the last time they were in the toon to see what to expect…

Follow our channel for more local videos…

North East Updates YouTube channel


*affiliate link – we may receive payment for sales for this event.

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