Walks for older members with reduced mobility
As bushwalking club members age or encounter physical difficulties, they often drift away from the club, because they can’t walk as fast or as far as they used to. Clubs can retain these members by scheduling walks that specifically address mobility issues.
- Consult members who might be interested in these walks. They will be able to identify the types of activities they would like to see scheduled, their mobility limitations, and abilities.
- Design shorter walks.
- Avoid rugged hiking routes.
- Choose tracks with good gradients and minimal steps.
- Ensure regular seating is available if there are participants who have arthritis or respiratory conditions.
- Allow additional time for a reduced walking speed.
- Identify toilet stops en route.
- Create a new walking grade for these activities e.g. Easier walking, Gentle walking. This enables less-mobile members to identify walks that are suitable for their needs. It also alerts faster walkers, who might push the speed or feel dissatisfied with a slower pace, to avoid these activities.
- Ensure participants communicate with the leader prior to engaging in the activity, so they understand the walking conditions before committing to the walk