How was your journey today?
Getting out and about and remaining mobile and independent is important for all of us. But if we’re living with a health condition, travel can become daunting, particularly for people living with dementia. Poorly designed services and a lack of awareness about dementia can create barriers to travel, reduce independence and lead to social isolation.
Having worked with communities to explore the role of local assets in maintaining good health, I knew that accessing travel can become a significant barrier. With the number of people living with dementia in the UK set to rise to one million by 2025, services and environments will need to respond to our changing society. I wondered about the barriers that people with dementia might face and how we could draw from lived experience to improve services. So, with support from the Life Changes Trust, I began working with people with dementia to understand their real travel challenges and develop ideas for working collaboratively with service providers.
Go Upstream is the result of this exploration into what it means to travel well with dementia. Working with groups of people living with dementia around Scotland, it provides education, training and a service improvement framework for the many travel-related service providers that contribute to a journey. We bring staff together with people living with dementia to build awareness, learn about each others challenges, experience services together and develop ideas for improved services, together. At each stage of the process, people living with dementia have an opportunity to contribute their experience and expertise.