Are you, or someone you know, concerned about the risk of getting lost or going missing when out and about in the community?
The Safer Walking Framework is an initiative delivered by Land Search and Rescue New Zealand (Land SAR). It is about supporting, educating, and reducing the risk of people that, potentially or actually, get lost or go missing due to cognitive impairment in NZ.
We estimate that over 300,000 people in New Zealand have some sort of cognitive impairment e.g. people with dementia or some autistic people. Most people with cognitive impairment are not at risk of going missing (known as wandering in the Search and Research sector). A recent survey in New Zealand indicates that about 10 – 13 % of people with cognitive impairment have a higher risk of going missing.
The good news is that you are not alone. There are many ideas and strategies that have been developed that you can introduce. These help to reduce the risk, while enabling personal freedom to live a healthy active life in the community. Strategies include social activities that help to satisfy a person’s need for walking. There are ideas to consider about the home environment to reduce the risk of a person leaving unprepared. And technology that can be introduced to aid location. There is an array of people and places you can connect with for getting help.