Staying active: your experiences

Discussion in 'Alzheimer's Society notices' started by HarrietD, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    Do you have any experiences or thoughts to share on the topic of staying active, either as a carer or as someone with dementia?

    Alzheimer’s Society is creating a guidance toolkit for leisure centres, gyms and sports clubs on how they can be more dementia-friendly to enable more people to access their activities and facilities.

    The team creating this are looking for people to share their experiences, thoughts and stories about being active. This can be anything from team sports, walking, dancing, using the gym, swimming, marathons (!) and seated activity or basic movement exercises.

    They want to hear from people affected by dementia to understand some of the barriers and challenges involved in physical activity. They'd also like to hear about how being active has helped physically, mentally or socially. Some of your insights might be included in the guide.


    A few questions to think about:

    · What are your experiences of leisure centres, sports clubs and gyms?

    · Is there anything that might put you off visiting a leisure centre, gym or sports club?

    · What challenges are there to accessing these facilities for people affected by dementia?

    · Is there anything leisure centres, sports clubs and gyms could do to provide a better service and support for people affected by dementia?

    · Do you have any positive experiences of physical activity helping someone living with dementia either physical, emotionally or socially? This can be anything from home-based chair exercises, dancing, walking groups, to sports like table tennis or walking football.


    They'd love to hear your feedback, ideally by the end of October.

    If you have any questions, please get in touch with Steven McFadyen, Programme Partnerships Officer (Sport & Leisure) at

    Thanks :)
  2. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    Does anyone have any thoughts on the questions above, or any thoughts or experiences you want to share around the topic of being active? You're welcome to send me a PM if you'd prefer not to share on here.

    I know your experiences would really help the team working on the toolkit to make sure it's as relevant as possible :)
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Just a couple of observations. I don't know if these comments are on the right track though.

    In relation to leisure centres my wife struggles with the facilities like lockers and showers. I don't know any solution other than 1 2 1 assistance.

    Walking is something that I encourage with my wife as both the exercise and the social interaction are good. One problem I have is my wife's apathy as she won't do anything unless I persuade her that it's good for her. Maybe just pushing the health benefits would assist.
  4. tss502

    tss502 Registered User

    Oct 20, 2014

    We've done loads with my OH to encourage him to stay active. He goes to a table tennis club regularly, has a guided session with a physio at our local gym and also cycles. When it became less safe for him to cycle we started taking him to the local velodrome so he can cycle round the track and doesn't have to negotiate traffic etc. He also has an exercise bike at home which helps when he is restless.

    Challenges I have observed:
    - gyms can be quite noisy places with loud music etc. Maybe they could hold 'quiet times' when the music is off and this might also be helpful for others.
    - with the cycling at the track, it can be difficult to find times when the track is not busy - especially during the summer holidays when there are lots of kids there. Again, perhaps advertising special quieter times aimed at those with dementia or other conditions.
    - changing rooms are a real challenge. You really need access to unisex disabled changing facilities to make this work, it can be very difficult otherwise. Also things like negotiating lockers for storing your stuff - very difficult with dementia. So at least a couple of lockers in a unisex area.

    Table tennis is an excellent stimulation for the brain and our local club has started a project focusing on working with people with dementia.
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    When my husband was at home I found an exercise programme on YouTube which we were able to do at home.

    One was chair yoga which we did together;

    This isn't the one we did, its a newer one but equally as suitable.

    The other was Qigong for seniors

    I recently accompanied my Tai Chi teacher to a support group to demonstrate Qiging to people with dementia and their carers. The response was much better than we could ever have expected.
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Up until five or six years ago John and I walked six miles a day weather permitting. As his mobility declined we still walked but much shorter distances. I bought two sets of binoculars so we could do a bit of birdwatching in the woods. I don't know that we learned much but it was fun. We like to forage for brambles which also is an excuse for a walk and we dont need to go far.

    I find pushing a wheelchair very hard work so that's not much good but what we do is take his sticks so he can walk up any wee hills then get back in his chair on the flat.

    We used to swim a lot but as Pete says the locker problem and his need for so much assistance dressing etc has put me off continuing with that.

    His daycentres do chair exercises and John will have a go with that and with dancing but it is getting harder for him all of the time. For myself I dont do any structured exercise now but I do all of the DIY in the house and garden now as well as routine work so I'm reasonably agile for 74.
  7. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    @karaokePete, @tss502, @Grannie G, @marionq - these are incredibly helpful. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, what's worked well and the challenges you've come up against. I've passed your comments onto the team.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.