Dementia Friendly Health Walks aim to provide a safe, supported, and caring space to make time outdoors with other people relaxing and fun.
Over the past 5 years, 31 Walking for Health projects have achieved Paths for All’s Dementia Friendly Walking accreditation and prior to the Covid-19 pandemic they were delivering over 145 Dementia Friendly Health Walks every week across Scotland.
Skilling up the physical activity paid and volunteer workforce has been a key part of this success story. To date, 704 Walk Leaders have been trained on our ½ day Dementia Friendly Walk Leader Training course to help support the needs of walkers living with dementia by taking a person centred approach to understanding their specific requirements.
The course includes information on dementia, how it affects people and the benefits of being active. It considers walking environments, routes, risk assessments and the role of the walk leader. Read our Dementia Friendly Walk Leader Training infographic.
Dementia Friendly Health Walks are a fantastic opportunity for people to socialise safely outdoors and help improve mobility, confidence and overcome feelings of isolation.
Currently, Health Walks are permitted under the organised sport (coaching) guidance and current Scottish Government local protection levels. A maximum of 15 participants can attend a registered Health Walk with detailed risk assessments carried out and physical distancing maintained. Find out more by watching our video and reading our guidance.
People living with dementia benefit from being outdoors and in contact with nature as it can help relieve stress, increase self-esteem, produce vitamin D, and exercise the brain, helping with memory and cognitive functioning. Find out more.
Find the location of Dementia Friendly Health Walks across Scotland using our online map.
How to become a Dementia Friendly Walk Leader
If you currently are a Paths for All trained Walk Leader you may like to consider upskilling with our Dementia Friendly Walk Leader training to increase your knowledge and skills to deliver walks that are safe and enjoyable for people living with dementia.
If your walking group would like to develop your Health Walk to become more accessible, you will be taking the first step to formalising your Dementia Friendly Health Walk with Paths for All. If applicable, please speak to your local Project Coordinator in the first instance with regards to accessing this training, otherwise please get in touch at email@example.com.
To find out more about Dementia Friendly Health Walks and their role in helping people enjoy fresh air, socialise, and feel more connected to their community email firstname.lastname@example.org.