A false stop for Alzheimer’s patients. The only one of its kind in Poland stands and Warsaw

In Warsaw, on Wilanowska Avenue, there is a seemingly ordinary bus stop like many on the streets. However, its real purpose is to stop patients who, as their neurocognitive disease progresses, often attempt to escape from the nearby Alzheimer’s Centre. The bus stop was put in place in the summer of 2016.

In Alzheimer’s disease, one of the possible symptoms is an urge to escape, called dromomania. Patients then attempt to return to a place that is familiar and associated with safety, i.e. home. This tendency tends to occur in the later stages of the disease, but is very troublesome for carers, who have to stop their residents from making unexpected escape attempts.


The idea of creating a fake bus stop is based on the belief that long-term memory is active in Alzheimer’s patients. Although they are usually unable to assimilate new information, they are very familiar with bus stop markings and know that it is from these that they can get home. The choice of the original bus shelter from the 1990s was therefore no coincidence in this case.


The bus stop, located next to the Centre’s exit, is intended to be a place where caretakers will be able to find runaway wards in time and convince them to return – especially as they will then not even remember why they were there. The idea, first put into practice in 2008 at the Benrath Senior Centre in Düsseldorf, proved to be an effective way of sparing patients a dangerous journey and carers a stressful search.


The stop also has an informative function about the Centre’s activities. In the advertising showcases, detailed information on forms of assistance for Alzheimer’s patients and on the Centre’s offer is hung.

The installation was created thanks to a joint initiative of the Alzheimer’s Centre, the Public Transport Department and ADPOL (AMS).


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