Out and about
Knowing where to walk is a step in the right direction.
Dunedin has a wide range of walkways available to the residents, and walking is known to have physical, mental and social health benefits for all. However as people age their fitness levels and mobility can deteriorate which means some walkways might not be suitable for them.
Two Occupational Therapy students, Anna Adam and Amber Barry, worked with Age Concern to assess the physical accessibility of Dunedin walkways. They began with a survey of people aged over 60 through the Octagon Club. Survey participants had a range of ages and various levels of fitness. Most of them used a car to access walkways. The survey identified a need fore more toilets and seating on walkways.
Anna and Amber then carried out analysis of the most accessible walkways. They considered location and accessibility by bus, the length and gradient of the walkway, the track surface, whether there were toilets and seating available, and any other facilities and hazards. All of this information has been compiled into a booklet which will be available from Age Concern to help older people make an informed choice about where to walk.
Image credit: Bruce McKinlay, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0