Dementia Friendly Event fit for purpose

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Edinburgh Leisure’s Ageing Well project received our Dementia Friendly Walking accreditation at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh.

An information afternoon was held, along with a Dementia Friendly Walk, to promote the services for people living with dementia in Edinburgh. Organised by Edinburgh Leisure with Police Scotland, Fire Scotland, Paths for All, and other third sector agencies, the aim of the event was to showcase the services available across to the city to anyone living or affected by dementia, including carers and family.  People were able to discuss exercise options, fire prevention and personal safeguarding.

Audrey McKinven, Ageing Well Project Officer at Edinburgh Leisure said: “Edinburgh Leisure is all about providing opportunities for anyone to get active and stay active, no matter what the individual’s ability. Walking is such an accessible way to improve health and wellbeing but for those living or affected by dementia, it can be a daunting prospect.

We have a range of Ageing Well Health Walks to suit most people’s needs, from a 30 minute stroll to a moderate 90 minute walk.  We also have two dementia friendly walks, with specially trained walk leaders, who understand the needs and requirements of these group of people.  Not only is it an easy and cheap way to improve fitness, but it’s a great way to socialise too and to meet like-minded people.”

Ian Findlay, Paths for All Chief Officer said: “We are delighted to be working with Edinburgh Leisure to establish dementia friendly walking groups in the city. We know that there are lots of barriers stopping people living with dementia getting out, enjoying the outdoors, meeting people and keeping active. Joining a led walk is a really good way for people to overcome these and feel the benefits of walking.  Spending time outdoors in nature can help to relieve stress, increase self-esteem, produce vitamin D, and exercises the brain, helping with memory and cognitive functioning. Even 10 to 15 minutes of daily walking outdoors can improve the overall wellbeing of people living with dementia.”

An estimated 90,000 people have dementia in Scotland, with around 3,200 of these people under the age of 65.

Projects like Movement for Memories are part of Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities Programme that use the power of physical activity and sport to change and improve the lives of over 5,200 people each year who are affected by health conditions, poverty, inequalities and disabilities.

Find out more about our other Dementia Friendly Walking projects.

© 2014 Paths for All - Registered Scottish Charity No: SC025535, Company Limited by Guarantee No: 168554 inc. 19 Sept 1996 at Companies House, Edinburgh