Elderly man sitting on a bench, appearing confused. He is sitting next to a Police Officer wearing blue overalls and a hi-vis vest. Standing next to both of them is a woman wearing an orange Land Search and Rescue hi-vis vest. She is holding a large aerial that is used for searching for pendants worn by WanderSearch users.

Safer Walking

Female LandSAR volunteer in the bush. She is wearing an orange LandSAR hi-vis vest, and is reading from her notebook while transmitting via an orange handheld radio

We can help

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.  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.

It’s estimated that over 300,000 New Zealanders have some sort of cognitive impairment (e.g. dementia and autism). 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.

External Resources

Safer Walking Logo

Safer Walking

To find more resources about keeping safe, such as making a personalised Safer Walking Profile, head over to the Safer Walking website.

Wander Search Logo

Wander Search

One option in the Safer Walking Framework is Wander Search. Head over to their website to see if that solution is right for you or your whānau.