Virtual day out for seniors with dementia

At day activity center De Gildenborgh they cycle through Utrecht, the Netherlands a lot, but virtually. The center is for people who are getting older and need some support. Many of them can no longer cycle independently. How do you get this (sometimes difficult to motivate) group to exercise and enjoy it?

Virtual cycling with a chair bike

"We organize different activities for the elderly. For example, we have a gym where several sports activities are organized," says Lene Kleuver, Senior employee at day activity center De Gildenborgh. Still, Bike Labyrinth is a clear favorite with many. "The people who come to us almost all have some form of dementia. Cycling with Bike Labyrinth makes them feel in control."

Easy exercise through the chair bike

The convenience of Bike Labyrinth is very important to the center. The chair bike makes exercise accessible to everyone. "We have four different groups that come to the center, including a group of Moroccan ladies. For many sports activities you have to change clothes, but for Bike Labyrinth it is not necessary. This convenience and a 'day out experience' keeps many elderly people from getting off their bikes."

"Of course, there are also some clients who don't like it and prefer 'real' sports. But especially for the less mobile elderly, this is really a godsend. We also hardly have to motivate them to cycle a lap. Often we actually have to stop them because there are others who also want to cycle."

Day trip to Utrecht

Because a day at the activity center can also be quite tiring for the clients, a nap is always taken at noon. "There is one lady who never participates in that. She is 98-years-old, but considers herself too young for an afternoon nap." This lady sat at the table one afternoon crying because she felt so alone. "Then I suggested we go for a bike ride around Utrecht. She was very surprised because she couldn't cycle anymore. But once at Bike Labyrint she was completely revived. She recognized many places and could tell extensively about the route. Now she goes cycling regularly and still visits Utrecht often."

De Gildenborgh falls under the larger care umbrella AxionContinu. They work together with four day activity centers in the area that work according to the same method. "Colleagues are also interchangeable here. This is very nice because that way we get ideas from each other, " says Lene. For example, day activity center De Chutsehof in Lopik came into contact with Bike Labyrinth. They are now saving hard for their own system. Are you also saving and want to read our tips and experience stories of others? View this page.