Caring for those who once cared for us: dementia-friendly planning for a Winnipeg, Manitoba winter

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Rempel, Lea
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The global population is aging, and the rate of dementia is climbing. Although physical activity is thought to improve well-being, older adults often experience a decline in physical activity with age. This can be a result of physical and social barriers in their immediate environment, which can be exacerbated in winter. Through a photovoice study, interview, and a group presentation/discussion, this research aims to bring issues associated with aging-in-place with dementia into planning discussions. Findings from this research suggest snow and ice on sidewalks are significant barriers for individuals with dementia, and that intersections are distracting and confusing. Suggestions include creating opportunities for mental and physical stimulation (e.g. using color to increase distinctness), providing particular individual physical characteristics (e.g. reducing the number of curbs or painting curbs so they are more visible), improving wider urban design characteristics (e.g. maintaining a cleared sidewalk network), and increasing awareness in the community.
Dementia, Winter, Urban design, Photovoice