July 2, 2024

Innovative “Cycling Without Age” Program Comes to Brudnick Center for Living!

Caroline and her husband with two BCL residents

Cycling Without Age, a national fitness program, provides bike rides for seniors. More than just riding bikes, the program’s goal is to create lasting connections, fostering a sense of belonging, and promoting the well-being of senior citizens or anyone feeling isolated, especially due to mobility limitations. Cycling Without Age will now be an integral part of the activity calendar at the Brudnick Center for Living.

Carol White, whose mother was a resident of BCL until her passing three years ago, helped bring this amazing program to the Brudnick Center. Carol has worked tirelessly since March 2020 —the start of the pandemic— to establish Cycling Without Age Massachusetts. Her dream became a reality in March 2023 and the rest, as they say, is history.

This initiative empowers individuals to experience the exhilaration of outdoor cycling and become visible members of the community. Started in 2012 by Ole Kassow, the initiative helps the elders get back on their bicycles, even those individuals with limited mobility. Ole introduced the trishaw to seniors, which is a lightweight bike with three wheels and pedals that can be pushed with your feet.

In June dementia residents had the opportunity to try out the bikes for the first time. The smiles on their faces clearly reflected how much they enjoyed the ride. “Our residents loved it,” said Megin Hemmerling, Regional President of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “It was such a fun day for many of our residents living in the dementia special are houses. These bike rides are pure joy!”

According to the Cycling Without Age website, the program strives to create new relationships between residents and staff, focusing upon building trust, happiness and increasing the quality of life. Individuals who have not ridden a bike for years are now able to recall the sensation of being back on a bike. For many, it triggers happy memories of past bike rides.

The next Cycling Without Age day on the Peabody campus is scheduled for Tuesday, July 23 from 9:30am to 11am. Residents and staff are already looking forward to  getting outside on their bikes and feeling the wind in their hair.

Featured Image: Caroline, far right, with her husband and two BCL residents on a bike.