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The Bus Stop to Nowhere
This is a little sad, but odd. There's a bus stop located outside the Benrath Senior Centre in Dusseldorf. People occasionally walk up to the stop and stand there, waiting for a bus, but a bus never comes. In fact, the stop is on no bus route. It's a faux bus stop, purposefully created by the local department of transportation as a lure designed to deceive Alzheimer's patients from the senior centre. From telegraph.co.uk:

“It sounds funny,” said Old Lions Chairman Franz-Josef Goebel, “but it helps. Our members are 84 years-old on average. Their short-term memory hardly works at all, but the long-term memory is still active. They know the green and yellow bus sign and remember that waiting there means they will go home.” The result is that errant patients now wait for their trip home at the bus stop, before quickly forgetting why they were there in the first place.
“We will approach them and say that the bus is coming later today and invite them in to the home for a coffee,” said Mr Neureither. “Five minutes later they have completely forgotten they wanted to leave.” The idea has proved so successful that it has now been adopted by several other homes across Germany.

Update: I added an image of the fake bus stop. Thanks to Mikkel for finding it.
Categories: Exploration/Travel
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 04, 2008
It does seem a little sad, but it makes sense. If it helps better protect the Alzheimer's patients then it seems to be working.
Posted by DC  in  Los Angeles, CA  on  Wed Jun 04, 2008  at  01:38 PM
possibly a true story, but someone has been tampering with the text. The spokesman is Franz-Josef Goebel.... er what? Then later on you get the spokesman's real name (presumably) as Mr Neureither. Can you check the original of this story?
Posted by gill danis  on  Wed Jun 04, 2008  at  01:57 PM
From my days back in the Northeast, I think that New Jersey Transit's bus lines work on this same principle.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jun 05, 2008  at  03:50 AM
A link to the people who put the sign up. It seems genuine. Richard Neureither and Franz-Josef Goebel are just two different people.
http://www.alte-loewen.de/pressespiegel.html
Posted by Mikkel Larsen  in  Copenhagen  on  Thu Jun 05, 2008  at  06:42 AM
Oh, and a picture of the busstop:
Posted by Mikkel Larsen  in  Copenhagen  on  Thu Jun 05, 2008  at  06:45 AM
And what happens to non-Alzheimer's people who walk past, think it is a bus stop, and wait there for the non-existant bus? I hope there's a sign some where saying 'no buses stop here', but I suppose that would defeat the purpose.
Posted by Nona  on  Thu Jun 05, 2008  at  07:50 AM
Nona, I thought about that as well -- I assume they simply don't list any buses, so what would one be waiting for? A bus towards where?
Posted by Gutza  on  Thu Jun 05, 2008  at  10:06 AM
@ Nona, Gutza

The sign actually reads "Sonderfahrten" ("special routes"). In combination with the missing of a timetable or any other information about the route of the bus it's clearly a sign that is not used for taking the bus normally. I guess 99% of the people would not wait for a bus there...
Posted by Aeiou  in  Tokyo  on  Thu Jun 05, 2008  at  02:24 PM
I don't know what's funnier...the fact that this bus-stop to nowhere exists or that people commenting are wondering what will happen to people who can't figure out it's fake.
Posted by RE  in  Chicago, IL USA  on  Thu Jun 05, 2008  at  07:28 PM
I think its sort of odd because my brandmother had alsheimers and none of the Alheimers units she stayed in had access to the houside in a way they could get out and get to a "bus stop" they had large courtyards and what not where they could get outside, but nowhere to get out of the complex without being buzzed out. Also I am reminded of a bus stop on a route i used to ride. It was an actualy bus stop, but there was nothing within a half mile of the stop so I could never figure out why anyone would use it.
Posted by Tim  on  Thu Jun 05, 2008  at  09:16 PM
What a wonderful idea! I work in a memory care community and several times a week I have one or more residents that say they are waiting on the bus. I love validation therapy allowing the resident to live in a happy moment from their past and yet remain safe.
Posted by Beth B  in  Austin, TX  on  Wed Sep 04, 2013  at  12:28 PM
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