Helping people with dementia find their way

How do we help people with dementia as independent for as long as possible? Dementia is becoming an issue that we are learning more and more about everyday. How can we help people feel more confident about venturing outdoors where they can breath the fresh air and move their bodies?

Working with the City of Amsterdam and Odensehuis in Amsterdam and Utrecht, we created symbols made from eco-friendly milk paint that we placed every 10 meters making a trail from the day care center to a local shopping area so people with early stage dementia could go for a walk, do some shopping,  just have lunch and then also find their way back to the center.

Not only did this path help people find their way to and from the shopping areas but it had the unexpected benefit of generating community awareness that there was a dementia care center in their local community.

This campaign gave the community centers a great opportunity to engage not only with the local businesses but also with their neighbours. Fliers about the trail of symbols were circulated and trainings were offered to local businesses to help people who may seem to be confused or worse had lost their way.

We also provided templates and a spray chalk so that the centers could create the path themselves or repair symbols that were worn. Easy to use and very affordable, natural paints combined with a template are a great way to create urban communication campaigns.

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A trial of images printed on the sidewalk with milk paint to help people with dementia find their way to a local shopping district and then back to the Odensehuis day care. Making this neighbourhood in Utrecht more dementia friendly.

Jim Bowes

Advertising professional specialising in Natural Media advertising techniques that have a low impact on the environment.