Seniors at Southlawns cycling again

Seniors at Southlawns cycling again

Southlawns, a care home in Somerset, has been part of a project using Motiview in England. They introduced the videos and bike to their residents and service users and they loved it. Prior to the project, the care home’s residents were mostly doing armchair based activities when it came to physical activity (e.g. with the parachute or ball/beanbags). Some said they had cycled when they were younger but not at all these days.

Fred, a former postman (walking with a walking frame), enjoyed “travelling” his old roads. He said: “Wonderful contraption, this! I wish I’d had it some months ago – then I might still have the use of my legs. But I did 10 minutes today, next time I’ll do 15 and then 20. After a while, I will hopefully regain the normal use of my legs.” And even relatives and friends noticed how Fred loved it and that he would be using it more.

Motivates to rehabilitation

Some people, following hip operations or other leg injuries, have been given exercises by the hospital which they do, but say they find Motiview to be more fun. Mary (a day care customer) uses the bike when she comes in twice a week. “I think it’s good. Really nice and good for my legs. My walking’s poor since I had a hip replacement a year ago and I get pain in my spine, but I want to keep walking and be independent. This helps. It can be relaxing and puts me in a good mood. I like the wake and shake exercises too.” Mary used to cycle when she was younger and told the staff about former trips. Cycling has encouraged her to do more stretching exercises as well. 

Mary - Southlawns

“Really nice and good for my legs!”

A social hub

Helen, one of the activities coordinators at Southlawns, emphasise that they obviously have never forced anyone to go on the bike, but that hasn’t at all been necessary – the residents and service users ask to do it. There’s always people there to chat too – there’s usually more chat around the videos than in the main lounge where people tend to just sit quietly. And as Helen says: “It’s a conveyor belt of one out one in on the bike!” There is no doubt that Motiview is definitely helping people socialise and stimulating reminiscence.

Another of the senior cyclists, Amy, has been encouraged by Mary to have a go on the bike as she thought it would do her good. Amy used to be anxious and really didn’t like the sensation of her legs moving, but she sat and watched the video of Glastonbury and talked about when she lived in the Rifleman’s Arms pub and various other tales of Glastonbury. She had sat fairly passively in the room prior to going on the bike but sat and watched the whole video chatting. “It’s nice to go somewhere you know!”

The Manager, Catherine Brown, felt she has not seen another project that has captured people at Southlawns the way this one has, and personal wellbeing and building relationships are some of the biggest outcomes. “It has given people a focus, and the residents and service users really love the videos and the range of places they can ‘go’!”

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