This is a guest post by Caroline Clipson, who coordinates the Southwark Dementia Action Alliance, working with Alzheimer’s Society and local organisations to make the borough dementia-friendly. She’s teaming up with TfL, Walk London and Cool Tan Arts to create this sensory walk in Southwark Park for people affected by the condition.
Think you know Southwark Park? Think again. We’re creating a special sensory walk on Saturday September 23rd for people living with dementia and their loved ones.
“Through my work with the local Dementia Action Alliance, older people in Southwark tell me how much they value open spaces in the borough. I work on a local gardening and reminiscence project, so I see how important it is that elderly people continue to connect with nature. It’s especially important for people living with dementia.”
Caroline Clipson, Southwark Dementia Action Alliance
The upcoming sensory walk is all about raising awareness of the benefits of gentle exercise and getting outdoors for people with dementia. We want to help friends and families explore new ways of engaging with loved ones by sharing their love of nature – enjoying the smells, sounds, textures and exceptional autumn colours of our local park.
Tapping into our senses can certainly trigger long-forgotten memories!
So what makes this walk dementia friendly?
Did you know, Southwark Park opened in 1869? It was the first urban park in London. While this is interesting, we don’t dig much deeper into historical facts during our sensory walk, instead, we rely on the flora and fauna to tell the story of this stunning park.
There are a huge variety of trees, gardens and unique features all within a gentle stroll of each other. It’s well known by locals and our walk leader so holds special memories for lots of people.
Every step we take helps us build towards a Dementia Friendly London
We want all parks across London to be accessible for people with dementia. That means we need their staff to understand and support people with the condition to feel welcome. We’re asking parks and other organisations to become Dementia Friends today.
By supporting people living with dementia to get outdoors and enjoy walking, we can all help people with the condition, and their carers, live well.
Want to get take part in this month’s Sensory Walk? Book here www.walklondon.org.uk/walks/sensory-walk/
More on walking in London
Transport for London sponsors three walking weekends every year to help Londoners enjoy the city’s best walking routes and motivate people to walk more often. ‘Autumn Ambles’ takes place in September, ‘Spring into Summer’ in May and ‘Winter Wanders’ in January. To see all walks this September, visit the Walk London website.
In his draft Transport Strategy, the Mayor wants Londoners to walk for at least 20 minutes each day to keep mentally and physically healthy. At TfL, we are making a wide range of improvements to London’s streets, junctions and public spaces, including the installation of more than 1,700 Legible London signs across the Capital, making it easier and more enjoyable to walk around London.
See more information about walking in the Capital and download TfL’s Walking Tube at tfl.gov.uk/walking
Last month Public Health England released statistics showing how millions of people across the UK still don’t walk the recommended amount each month. PHE’s new One You physical activity campaign is encouraging adults to build 10 minutes continuous brisk walking into their day as a simple way to improve their health.
The ‘Active 10’ app shows how much brisk walking a person is doing each day and how to incorporate more of it into their lifestyles. Download Active10 app here: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/active10/home#VFQ6fuQGcOFe8t8l.97