Innovative partnership encourages elderly people and those with dementia in care homes to participate in physical activity
A new partnership between British Cycling, Sport England and Norwegian startup Motitech will help motivate elderly people and those with dementia to remain active by giving them the opportunity to cycle remotely.
The new five-year collaboration will support Motitech in delivering opportunities for older people to remain active through cycling, including the Road Worlds for Seniors 2019 cycling event that runs during September.
Road Worlds for Seniors is Motitech’s global activity programme for cycling within care homes and care centres. It encourages participation in physical activity amongst elderly people using its concept Motiview, where residents cycle through a choice of over 1,500 locations on specially-adapted stationary bikes via a video projection that plays whilst the person pedals.
The combination of exercise and visual stimulation increases activity levels in older people, and gives them the opportunity to revisit familiar places from different points in their lives. This is particularly important for dementia residents as it helps provoke memories of familiar locations.
Support from British Cycling and Sport England, funded by Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), will see more care homes across the UK be able to access Motitech’s technology and provide more physical activity opportunities for their residents.
In addition, the partnership will see British Cycling and Sport England support the project through their Places to Ride capital grants programme, designed to deliver a lasting legacy from the 2019 Road World Championships by funding the development of multi-use facilities as well as facility improvement and equipment.
This means that Motitech will be able to provide equipment to more care homes, encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in physical activity, providing a significant and positive impact on residents’ physical and mental wellbeing.
“We are incredibly excited to be able to announce the partnership with British Cycling and Sport England ahead of Road Worlds for Seniors this year,” commented Jan Inge Ebbesvik, President of Road Worlds for Seniors at Motitech. “The support means that we can get even more people and care homes involved in Road Worlds for Seniors across the world, and create that feeling of friendly competition and community. We want to encourage older people to compete, have fun and get active at the same time.
“Through the combination of exercise, support from friends, families, and carers, as well as the support provided by British Cycling and Sport England, this year’s event is set to establish the unique application of technology to benefit older people as an initiative in parallel to existing cycling competitions, and a special fixture of the British sporting calendar.”
Participants will also have the opportunity to win awards for those who have cycled the furthest, alongside the care teams that have provided the best support during the initiative.
Sport England’s Director of Facilities Charles Johnston said: “The benefits of physical activity for older people are considerable but often there are limited opportunities, especially for people living in care.
“We are pleased to have supported Motitech in bringing their innovative concept to the UK and are delighted to now be part of their long term partnership with British Cycling. The project will build a lasting legacy from the 2019 Road World Championships and accelerate access to opportunities for people living in care, across England, to have more opportunities to be physically active as part of their daily lives.”