So, with last week being so productive, I decided to finally get that walk sorted out with my mum, so I can witness first hand the struggles she faced daily, all that she could go on a walk to keep herself active and busy.
What was interesting was how many decisions she had to make when taking the dog a walk, which according to her was a great motivator in getting her out the house, as she liked clean carpets!
Going on this walk was very insightful for myself, as we were barely out the door and my mum was already faced with a big hurdle, the stairs down the side of the flat. These stairs were difficult for my mum already, never mind with a small dog trying to pull her down them, but sure enough, she managed to navigate her way down, much to the delight of herself, as it was almost like the stairs were the first hurdle to she successfully conquered.
We didn’t have to walk along further before we arrived at the second challenge that she faces on a regular journey, crossing the road.
She explained to me the most important aspect when crossing the road, other than checking if the road was clear of course, and that was the pavement or rather the kerb. She had to make sure that it was lowered, always, as it was easily a hazard for herself. Once she made sure we were at the right part of the path, she safely crossed over.
Out of all the things we could walk through, was walking through a cemetery, which I noticed was not busy and very peaceful, despite some issues with the path we were walking on! As we sat down, my mum explained to me that walking has helped her a lot over the past year, with some falls while she has been out previously, it would have been easy to sit inside and not move.
I asked her ‘’what made you keep trying to go out and walk, even the shortest of walks or journeys?” and she explained to me that it was her friends that had pushed her out to go and get some fresh air or go to the shops or cafes.
She said that in turn helped her, as having someone who was a bit more confident gave her the confidence to step outside her comfort zone and that stayed with her longer, meaning now that she could go out herself after a while and face challenges alone.
I also asked her, with me recently being in touch with talking groups, if it was better to walk in groups and/or pairs, which she said, of course, having someone there to talk too and talk about the surroundings helped, even if they were all gravestones!
This made me think that although my Mum goes on regular walks with her Partner, maybe sometimes when he is not with her, she would appreciate meeting new people and going on similar walks, being able to get out and experience new surroundings.