Today we share a story from our Better Together series to celebrate summer, warm breezes … and the joyous freedom of biking made possible, once again.
Our scene opens at Waverly Gardens in North Oaks, Minn. As the name implies, Waverly Gardens is a beautiful, sprawling campus with flowers, trees, a pond and beautiful views into the surrounding countryside.
Winding paths naturally lead residents, families, volunteers and staff to “stop and smell the roses.” That’s right, because there’s also a central rose garden, a rainbow of colors.
But what’s the purpose of all this beauty … if it can’t be enjoyed to the fullest by those with limited mobility?
Now, with a grant from the State of Minnesota and partnership with Cycling Without Age, more Waverly Gardens residents can experience — once again — “the wind in their hair.”
Cycling Without Age is a global movement to “help the elders get back on their bicycles.” Uniquely designed trishaws – and those who pilot them – make ageless bike rides possible.
The Chat, a model used by Waverly Gardens, features a wide cushioned seat with spring suspension. It comfortably holds up to two riders while a trained pilot pedals from behind.
Julie Williams, life enrichment director at Waverly Gardens, says the trishaw rides are a hit with residents and visiting family members. “Just last week a resident in memory care didn’t want to ride at all. She said, ‘No, no, no. I’ll just sit here and watch.’ But then her grandson helped her on and he came too.” Julie exclaimed, “Oh, my goodness, she was putting her hands up in the air, waving back and forth! She used to waterski, so I think just feeling the wind on her face brought her back a little.”
“It’s as much as a reward for the pilots as for the residents,” Julie adds, noting her life enrichment team’s success with the new trishaw. Each pilot is also a trained nursing assistant and can seamlessly assist residents on and off the trishaw, from beginning to end.
Now that’s going the extra mile!
Do you know someone looking for more purpose in their work? Share the good news and the many opportunities to join our team at www.preshomes.org/careers.
You might also be interested in:
Dorri goes for a ride
The life enrichment pro: ‘I do something meaningful - I connect people’
Authors galore! Waverly Gardens celebrates its writers