Using special static bikes and videos, care home residents are coming out of retirement to compete for cycling medals, ‘travelling’ to places old and new without leaving their chair.
Motitech, a Norwegian startup launched in 2013, has developed specially-adapted exercise bikes that enable 'cyclists' to revisit familiar places from their childhoods and other important points in their lives, through a video projection that can play over 2,000 videos from 400 countries while they pedal.
It’s a simple idea and care homes report immediate and transformative benefits among residents: less anxiety, frustration and confusion. Better sleeping and eating patterns. Less need for painkillers and other medicines. And crucially, more activity.
In 2017, Motitech introduced a global, static cycling competition that has inspired thousands of older people to cycle the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of miles without leaving their care homes. The Road Worlds for Seniors competition, now in its third year, aims to reduce immobility of older people in care home settings, especially among those with dementia.
It seems there's nothing quite like a bit of healthy competition! The collaboration of seniors is, say the homes, remarkable: octogenarians cheer nonagenarians from across the other side of the world. At the same time, homes report an increase in staff morale and quality of care.
Motitech is now firmly established across the Nordic countries, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Europe and also in 24 homes across the UK.