Dementia Friendly Walking

We are working with the Scottish Walking for Health Network to make our Health Walks more accessible to people living with dementia.

Dementia friendly walk, Arbroath

A dementia friendly Health Walk is much like any other walk. It’s social and open to the whole community, led by a walk leader, uses safe, accessible paths and is an opportunity to enjoy some fresh air all year round.

What makes a Health Walk dementia friendly is including people living with dementia in the development of walks, providing Dementia Friendly Walk Leader training to volunteer walk leaders, building partnerships with organisations and agencies and ensuring that people living with dementia know about walking activities in their community.

We have created a Dementia Friendly Accreditation which recognises the positive changes put in place by Walking for Health projects to make their Health Walks accessible to people living with dementia. Projects working towards the accreditation can access a range of tailored support from Paths for All including Dementia Friendly Walk Leader training, small grants, resources, and networking opportunities.

Since 2015, 31 Walking for Health projects have achieved accreditation and they are delivering over 145 dementia Health Walks every week. We have trained 704 Volunteer Walk Leaders on our Dementia Friendly Walking course to help them support the needs of walkers living with dementia.  You can find the location of your nearest Dementia Friendly Health Walk using our online map and you can read walkers’ stories about the impact of Dementia Friendly walks here.

NEW Accreditation for Dementia Friendly Walking

We are working with the Scottish Health Walk Network to make our Health Walks more accessible to people living with dementia. A Dementia Friendly Health Walk is social, and open to the whole community, it is led by trained Walk Leaders and uses safe, accessible paths. 

We have created a new Dementia Friendly Health Walk Accreditation to recognise the positive changes made by project coordinators and volunteers to their Health Walks. By increasing the accessibility of Health Walks across Scotland to support and encourage people living with dementia to join, this will improve individual overall health and wellbeing and create social opportunities for so many within our local communities. 

Paths for All can support walking groups to develop their walk to become more accessible; upskilling in our Dementia Friendly Walk Leader training, re-risk assessing walking routes and utilising our resources are a few examples of the steps that can be taken to improve inclusivity.  

To achieve your Dementia Friendly Health Walk Accreditation and to be formally recognised by Paths for All, criteria must be met for each individual Health Walk. You can download your form here, please discuss this with your project coordinator in the first instance (where applicable) and get in touch via dementiafriendly@pathsforall.org.uk.  

For more information about the project and how you can get involved email dementiafriendly@pathsforall.org.uk.

The Dementia Friendly Walking Project is supported by The Life Changes Trust, The National Lottery Community Fund, William Grant Foundation, The Robertson Trust, Spirit of 2012, sportscotland and the Scottish Government.