(by Cynthia Helzel, Senior Living Executive Magazine) An innovative new product for stimulating the mind and body has made its first appearance in American senior living communities.
BikeAround (TM) combines the elements of a safe, customized exercise bike, outfitted with computer and a large domed screen, with reminiscence therapy. And, according to the article, it's easy to use!
A staff member or other helper gets the resident seated comfortably on the bike and types the desired "destination" into the computer. Then, the resident "visits" their destination by pedaling through images of it supplied by Google Street Maps.
According to the article, BikeAround (TM) is very effective in helping residents connect with their past. They can "visit" their childhood home, a favorite vacation spot, or past work places. As they pedal, the images on the screen change as if they were actually pedaling through their destinations, "similar to virtual reality, but without having to wear the goggles."
While the technology was originally created for those with cognitive impairment, it has benefits for everyone from memory care to independent living. It can act as a connection to one's past, or a social activity shared with friends around the bike.
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