Improved health by cycling to childhood memories


Eli Marie lived at Nykirkehjemmet care home in Bergen, Norway. She had Alzheimer’s disease and suffered from agitation. This was challenging for staff and other residents and two care home workers were needed to care for her at all times. Eli Marie was overweight and had great difficulty walking without a walking frame. How could the staff encourage and empower Eli Marie to improve her situation? The answer was increased physical activity. But how could that be achieved for a person with Alzheimer’s? Motivation was key. By using an exercise bike, video and sound from local roads and streets, Eli Marie was able to take cycle trips through familiar surroundings and childhood memories. 

The motivation system with video and sound called Motiview is delivered by Motitech. The constantly growing video library facilitates bringing memories back to life and inspires through the combination of sensory impression and physical activity. 

After five months of cycling, Eli Marie had lost 11 kilos. In addition, her mood had improved a lot. She was now content and only one care home worker was needed to care for her. She was also able to walk without mobility aids.

Stories like this pops up everywhere Motiview is being used. About seven thousand older people and people with dementia spread out across three hundred care homes and adult day care facilities in the Nordic countries have improved their physical health and general wellbeing through Motiview. The concept is established in the Nordics and the benefits have been documented through several projects; Improved mobility; Fewer falls; Faster rehabilitation; Increased appetite; Reduced obesity; Reduction in aggressive behaviour and medication; Better sleep; Less pain; Improved well-being; Encouraging for carers and family.

Motitech is currently undertaking a project in England, funded by Sport Englands Active Ageing Fund. During the project, 24 care homes all across England will get to try out Motiview for three months each. The project is measuring changes in physical and mental wellbeing, as well as the level of physical activity in general. The assumption is that the results will show good benefits from using Motiview and indoor cycling as motivation for physical activity and improved general wellbeing.

In September 2017, Motitech organised the very first Road Worlds for Seniors, with more than 1100 cyclists from the several countries. For the championship this year the number of participants had grown to over 2400; From Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, England and Canada. 

Wearing T-shirts and bicycle hats in World Championship design, the participants cycled 52 000 km in the four weeks the championship lasted - that is around the globe 1,3 times!

Road Worlds for Seniors is a competition, but most of all it is a great opportunity to focus on the importance of physical activity for older people and people with dementia. With the tremendous joy and enthusiasm this event created, the Road Worlds for Seniors is now an annual event. And as the regular UCI Road Worlds Championship comes to Yorkshire in 2019, the senior championship is expected to be a great happening in the UK too. The goal is for the Road Worlds for Seniors to eventually become the largest sporting event in the world!

Visit Motitech at the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo on Stand D902 or visit their website here