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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2023

Rebecca Stenberg and Maria Wolmesjö

The purpose of this paper is to give an account for preparative collaboration between the police and municipal eldercare in Sweden concerning missing persons with dementia.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give an account for preparative collaboration between the police and municipal eldercare in Sweden concerning missing persons with dementia.

Design/methodology/approach

Design/methodology/approach used was a qualitative case study design, consisting of one focus group with representatives for the participating organisations, followed by directed content analysis.

Findings

The findings showed a lack of current collaboration and reluctance to new collaborative initiatives. However, when focussing on preparative collaboration of coordinated responses to missing incidents, possibilities for improvement could be identified. The improvements concerned updated personnel response checklists, along with suggestions for an elaborate life story document in eldercare, with police access. Finally, better coordination of the return of the found person and a follow up were proposed.

Research limitations/implications

It is suggested that collaboration must be given different meanings and use different approaches adapted to the different phases in a rescue operation. In the preparation and the response phase, the focus should be on coordination of the resources available. In the pre-planning and prevention phases, as well as in evaluation and learning, horizontal collaboration is more suitable. The amount of data in this study is a research limitation which calls for further research.

Practical implications

It is suggested that collaboration must be given different meanings and use different approaches adapted to the different phases in a rescue operation. In the preparation and the response phase, the focus should be on coordination of the resources available. In the pre-planning and prevention phases, as well as in evaluation and learning, horizontal co-operation is more suitable.

Originality/value

The originality/value of this paper can be found in the novelty of missing person research in Sweden, and in practical suggestions for preparative collaboration concerning persons with dementia who go missing. Finally, it can be found in the suggested need for a more dynamic and process-sensitive view of collaboration in SAR or rescue operations.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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