Local older citizens can now feel the breeze in their hair and the sun on their faces with assistance of newfound cycling friends.
Kerang’s new Cycling Without Age chapter was officially launched last week, with Baptcare Northaven Community holding a ceremony to celebrate.
The star attraction, a Danish made Triobike taxi was the centre of attention as it hit the road after the official opening with excited residents on board.
The bike’s rider sits behind its two passengers, with those passengers travelling in couch-like comfort, with a canopy available for protection from the weather and also a blanket on offer.
Kerang resident Rob Mason, now Chairman of the town’s Cycling Without Age chapter, saw the program operating elsewhere and realised its potential for Kerang’s older residents.
He was inspired to bring a chapter of the organisation to Kerang and offer the residents of local aged care homes the chance to get out and about and relive the joy of travelling by bike.
Baptcare Northaven Community have embraced the initiative and provides sponsorship to help meet the ongoing costs of providing the service.
Lifestyle Coordinator, Lyn Steele said the residents couldn’t be happier.
“Baptcare Northaven Community believe this initiative will provide our residents with a unique opportunity to remain active despite their limited mobility,” said Ms Steele.
“It is a great way for them to connect with being outdoors and viewing their local community”.
“When they come back from a ride, they come back with a smile on their face. They’ve had the wind in their hair. They’ve been out in the sun.
“It not only brings mental benefits, but physical health benefits as well, like ensuring residents receive enough Vitamin D exposure,” said Ms Steele.
Dementia residents are also benefitting.
“This form of bike riding is a suitable way for our dementia patients to feel connected to their community,” said Ms Steele.
Since its commencement, the program has been such a success that Baptcare is keen to get Cycling Without Age chapters up and running in other towns where it has aged care facilities.
Watch this space!