Another great initiative in residential aged care, even for the vision impaired and those living with dementia

A global cycling movement aimed at giving aged care residents the chance to enjoy cycling in the outdoors and meet new people has launched at Bolton Clarke’s Gosling Creek aged care in Orange, 254km west of Sydney.

Resident Judith Saint, who is vision impaired, enjoyed her maiden voyage saying the ride brought back fond memories of her younger years.

“I just sat back and enjoyed being outside; hearing the birds and feeling the wind in my face. It was all very nice,” she said.

 

“My vision didn’t play a part or stop me at all, which was a nice change. Going on the ride made me feel like I was back doing and experiencing things I haven’t for a very long time."

 

“From my memories and the verbal cues from the lovely volunteers, I could even tell where we were and imagine the route we took.”

The same can be said for resident John Oldroyd, who has dementia and used to cycle for pleasure himself. His wife Narelle says he had a smile on his face the whole ride.

“He enjoyed it, there’s no doubt about it. He was happily chatting to the volunteer the whole time and what was even better was it was something we could enjoy together,” she said.

“He even remembered how to put his own helmet on. I take my hat off to the people who started it, it’s a lovely initiative.”

Cycling Without Age started in Denmark to help older people get out and about while combating loneliness and promoting social connection. In addition, it provides opportunities to interact with local communities, feel the wind in their hair and be outdoors.

Australian-first research from the Bolton Clarke Research Institute, published in 2022, showed the program helps boost wellbeing for residents and address symptoms of depression and dementia.

Local cycling enthusiasts the Orange Treadlies have been the force behind bringing the program to the NSW Central Tablelands and providing the pedal power.

Thirty volunteers take turns manning the purpose-built rickshaw-style electric ‘trishaw’ bike to give residents the chance to enjoy the scenic views around the Gosling Creek reserve.

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A special thanks to our contributors

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Journalist

Journalist

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

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Ian Horswill

Journalist

Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

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Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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Jill Donaldson

Physiotherapist

Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

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Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

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Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.