UW Med: Outdoor adventure program for people with younger-onset Alzheimer’s to launch this summer

Sunday, July 9, 2023

People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s before age 65 will have a new opportunity to connect with others while exploring the great outdoors through a program called SOAR (Shared Outdoor Adventures for Resilience).

Offered by UW Medicine Memory and Brain Wellness Center, SOAR will feature free monthly hikes in the Puget Sound area, for small groups of people with younger-onset Alzheimer’s, who will participate alongside a family member or friend.

Each hike will be led by a Lifelong Recreation Specialist from Seattle Parks and Recreation, with optional transportation provided.

Hikes will be up to 3 to 4 miles, with varied terrain to provide a challenge but still be accessible to a wide range of participants. Volunteer naturalists will join periodically to provide education about plants and animals in the region.

While around 10% of people with Alzheimer’s are diagnosed before age 65, most support services are geared toward people at a different stage of life. As a result, younger people navigating Alzheimer’s can feel isolated and alone.

SOAR aims to change that, and to respond to requests for physical activities geared to this population.

The program is made possible by a 2023 Innovation Programs Grant from the I’m Still Here Foundation.

A SOAR kickoff event will be held from 10am to 2pm, Wednesday, July 12, 2023 at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. 

Details and a kickoff event sign up form are online here


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