Bruyère Continuing Care is an health-care organization founded in 1845. They provide evidence-based health care and services for the vulnerable and medically complex, with a focus on persons who require sub-acute, geriatric or palliative care.
Cycling Without Age (CWA) is an innovative program designed to enhance the lives of seniors by providing them with an opportunity to remain connected to and active in the community. It was developed in Denmark by Ole Kassow to help seniors get back on their bicycles and get back to nature. He designed a special 3-wheeled rickshaw bike, called a “trishaw”, which has a two-seated, two-wheeled carriage for passengers in the front and is connected to a bike for a volunteer pilot. The special design enables conversation between the bike pilot and passengers. Slow rides bring people together from different generations through conversation, storytelling, and reminiscing.
The program operates on 5 key principles:
- Generosity: Taking 1 or 2 less abled people out for a ride is a simple act of kindness that anyone can do.
- Slow Cycling: Cycling slowly allows people to take in the environment around them and the chance to engage with other community members who may be curious about the program.
- Storytelling: The design of the trishaw allows elders to share their stories with pilots and for pilots to bear witness to these stories thereby creating a bridge between generations.
- Relationships: CWA promotes relationships between generations, pilots and passengers, long-term care staff and family members. Strengthening these relationships enhances quality-of-life for residents.
- Without Age: The cycling experience helps to ensure that people do not lose touch with all the possibilities of life due to mobility limitations.
Staff identifies residents and champions the program within the residence. Residents and up to 2 family members can take rides lasting anywhere from 30-60 minutes. This project will allow residents who don’t often have the chance to get outdoors an opportunity to connect with nature and the wider community.