Esmeralda de Wilde works as a Geriatric Physiotherapist for Accolade Hart van Vathorst location. They have been using Bike Labyrinth for so long, Esmeralda remembers when there were only 10 cycling routes. Now over 700 routes and quite a few experiences further, we asked Esmeralda about her experiences and stories.
"At the very beginning, we used Bike Labyrinth as a reward system. The residents who participated well in the exercises for a whole week were allowed to cycle a lap with Bike Labyrinth at the end of the week. But we didn't keep this up for very long, because Bike Labyrinth turned out to be way too much fun!," says Esmeralda. Bike Labyrinth can also be used during physical therapy.
The Vathorst location also has a closed ward. These residents are no longer able to go out independently, so they get outside less often. "A gentleman who had always used to live in Amsterdam came to me. I had turned on Amsterdam, but very soon it became clear that this made him restless; too many stimuli. Then we went pedal boating, which sir loved. Back in his room, he proudly told everyone that he had been out on the water. For him this was really an outing."
Going outside is an experience no one would want to miss. Fortunately, the feeling of being outside can be revived by taking a virtual bike ride. "For some people, going outside a lot is not the solution. They get restless from all the stimuli and are not happy. Something small then has the added value. In such a case, these water routes for example are very nice."
Location Hart van Vathorst also participated in our summer campaign, where you could check off vacation routes on a stamp card. "To further motivate residents, we bought key chains with a small bicycle attached. Everyone with a full stamp card, then gets one of those keychains." This worked so well that 25 residents ended up cycling with the campaign. And of course, they all received a keychain.
Organizing a race helps a lot in motivating residents. It gives that extra push that is sometimes needed. Another side effect is that residents discover different and new routes. "We mainly cycle through nearby cities or vacation destinations. The stamp cards motivate cyclists to discover other routes as well. For example, Prague turned out to be extremely popular. A very beautiful city that residents are only too happy to cycle again."
At Vathorst, they certainly haven't finished cycling yet. There are even plans to cycle all the Bike Labyrinth routes for a year. There are no less than 700 now and even more by then! That way they can tell exactly which routes are definitely worth cycling again.