Seniors at county long-term care homes will now have a new opportunity get outside and feel the wind fly through their hair.
On March 18, the County of Simcoe received notification approving one-time funding of $23,987 for the purchase of two trio bikes to start up a new Simcoe Cycling Without Age (SCWA) program.
The program will be established at Sunset Village in Collingwood and Georgian Village in Penetanguishene.
“The program is designed to enhance the lives of frail, vulnerable seniors by providing them with an opportunity to remain connected to society and actively participate in their community through cycling,” Christina Thorpe, the county's supervisor of program and support services, wrote in her staff report. “The main objective is to reintroduce those who have lost aspects of their strength and mobility to an active and inclusive lifestyle program in their community.”
The program will include one specialized trio bike per site which will be used to take residents for rides. Each bike carries two passengers with one volunteer pilot.
The county is partnering with a Cycle Simcoe professional cyclist who will help with bicycle upkeep, route development, and opportunities for an enhanced volunteer base.
The Cycling Without Age program originated in Copenhagen and has since been implemented in Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec, British Columbia and the U.S. The Bruyere Continuing Care in Ottawa is one of the first healthcare organizations to launch Cycling Without Age.
The bikes will be delivered in April and public information sessions are scheduled for May 2 for Georgian Village and May 3 for Sunset Village.