The Walking Programme

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It is great for all of us to get outdoors and to keep active. But for many reasons it's not so easy when we get older, and it can be especially challenging for people living with dementia for many reasons. This is why The Parks Trust and the Open University have come together to evaluate the new initiative, the 5 Ways Cafe. The cafe is based at St. Andrew's Church in Great Linford once a month, and offers coffee, company and conversation to people living with dementia and their families, as well as a gentle guided walk around the beautiful grounds of the Manor Park.

A research team based at The Open University, led by Dr Jitka Vseteckova, were invited to evaluate the impact of these guided walks on the attendees who are living with dementia. The aim is to understand how to keep people living with dementia and their carers engaged with walking and the outdoor environment as we know this is so beneficial to our wellbeing. We want to understand what the barriers and facilitators are to engagement with these walks and how regular attendance can be facilitated.

  • Why is going for a walk challenging for people living with dementia and their carers?
  • Knowing how beneficial walking is for our health, how can we make it easier for people with dementia and their carers to go for a walk outdoors?
  • How can we encourage people with dementia and their families and carers to walk outdoors regularly? Click here for more information.

The 5 Ways Cafe is on at St. Andrew's Church, Great Linford on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, from 11am-1pm.

Follow Dr Jitka Vseteckova on Twitter @JitkaVseteckova.

Podcast Series

Episode 1: Interview with Dr Jitka Vseteckova from the Open University introducing the Walking Programme.

Episode 2: Making the most a visit to the Great Outdoors (Dr. Abi Methley & Dr. Jitka Vseteckova).

Episode 3: The Ageing Brain (Dr. Abi Methley & Dr. Jitka Vseteckova).

Episode 4: Walking Therapy: Exploring and Understanding Outdoor Therapy (Dr. Abi Methley & Dr. Vseteckova).

Open Learn Articles

Keep me walking: people living with dementia and outdoor environments, by Ellie Broad and Dr. Vseteckova.

Making the most of a visit to the great outdoors, by Ellie Broad, Dr. Vseteckova and Dr. Methley


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