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One of the things that sometimes happens when a person receives a diagnosis of dementia is that their life shrinks. They may have been enjoying an active life, and continue to have work, family or caring responsibilities, but hearing the word ‘dementia’ can conjure up fears about safety, and the need to scale back potentially risky activities. Loved ones may feel a need to protect the person with dementia. It is certainly true that people with advanced dementia may become confused and find themselves lost or in difficulty when in unfamiliar or even well-known places. But the journey from early diagnosis to late stages of the condition may be a long one, and the goal of health professionals is to maintain or enhance the individual’s quality of life for the longest time possible.
Esme Wood from Coventry University’s Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research is currently conducting a doctoral research project, looking at the role that technology might play in helping people with dementia enjoy outdoor activities. Can safer walking technology help reduce or delay life shrinking? If you or someone you know might be interested in taking part, please see Esme’s video on YouTube.
Esme has also reviewed the literature on safer walking technology. You can read her work at