March 4, 2024
Safer walking for a loved one with dementia

Safer walking for a loved one with dementia

It’s important to support those with dementia to continue to do things they love – such as walking.

It’s not only a great way to exercise, but is often enjoyable and a good way to maintain independence. However, for family and carers it can be a cause of worry – especially around fears of a loved one becoming lost or injured.

There are a few simple things you can do to support safer walking for someone with dementia:

  • Encourage good footwear and appropriate clothing.
  • Encourage them to carry a mobile phone, and with their permission have a tracker app installed on your phone to enable you to locate them if they become lost.
  • Encourage them to take the same route each time they walk as this will help the route become familiar, and will also give you an initial area to look for them if they get lost.
  • Know how long their normal route takes to walk.
  • Encourage them to wear a bracelet or necklace that has been engraved with their name and your contact details, and that they have memory problems.
  • Arrange discreet awareness with neighbours.
  • Prepare for the contingency of someone becoming lost by having recent photos of them available to give to police or search and rescue teams. Note down what the person is wearing when they go out. List where the person usually walks, plus other places that they may go, eg, old addresses, old workplaces, etc.
  • Gradually introduce the person to the idea of someone walking with them.

If you would like to have a chat about safer walking for someone with dementia, you are welcome to give me a call.

Ruth Thomas, EnlivenPlus. Phone 07 547 4349

EnlivenPlus provides specialist dementia care from $60.