Paramedic meets good Samaritans who helped man with dementia in Dundee

© George McLuskie
Philip McKiddie with Amber Davis and Ruth Selbie.

Two kind-hearted teachers have been praised for coming to the aid of a vulnerable man with dementia in Dundee.

The 66-year-old, known only as Derek, fell over while walking along the Arbroath Road in the cold and rain.

Thankfully, Dairsie Primary School teachers Ruth Selbie and Amber Davis were passing in a car and sprung into action, helping the man to his feet and taking him back to his home in Dundee.

Paramedic Philip McKiddie visited the Fife school on Friday to thank Ruth and Amber in person.

When the teachers first found him, Derek could not remember his own name.

“He’d walked from the Hilltown to the Arbroath Road,” said Amber, 23.

“He said he didn’t want to get a taxi on his own and he’d forgotten about the bus.

“I realised that something wasn’t right.”

She added: “One of the first things he said was ‘I’m not drunk’.”

Ruth, 25, continued: “We couldn’t just leave him. It was so cold and, because it was raining, he was soaked.

“He was able to point us in the direction of his house.

“We managed to get him into the house and didn’t really know what else to do.

“I made him his dinner and a cup of tea, because I thought sugary tea would help.”

She added: “Because he has dementia, he couldn’t remember his name, but things started coming back to him.”

The thoughtful pair, who both live in Dundee, spent some time with Derek because they were concerned about his welfare.

They tried unsuccessfully to find contact numbers of relatives in his home and eventually contacted NHS 24. Soon afterwards, Mr McKiddie arrived.

“At first he thought we were Derek’s carers,” said Ruth.

They said the episode had made them more aware of how vulnerable older people can be.

And it has prompted them to get the school more involved in the community.

They are exploring plans including a community cafe for local elderly residents.

And they plan to drop off a Christmas present to Derek on behalf of the pupils.

Ruth and Amber have been telling the pupils about their experience.

“We want them to be responsible citizens,” said Ruth.

“We’re just ordinary people and it shows that anybody can help someone in need.”

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