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Trishaw Rides Invigorate Nursing Home Residents ... but they aren't peddling

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"The seniors returned from the trishaw rides happy, talkative and sociable — shaken out of their everyday routines..."


Photo by Cycling Without AgePhoto by Cycling Without Age



It all started with a friendly wave. In 2012, Copenhagen native Ole Kassow’s daily cycling commute took him past a nursing home. Every morning, the management consultant would see impeccably dressed 97-year-old Thorkild, who’d greet him from a spot on a bench, a walker by his side. Kassow wondered about the last time the man — and the home’s other residents — had been on a bike.  (Check out the TED talk here:



Turning strangers into friends — and bringing families closer together. Pernille Bussone, 37, who launched the Singapore chapter two years ago, has become close friends with 87-year-old Annie, one of her regular passengers. Since the chapter’s start, the pair have met up at least once a week, to ride, talk and share stories. “With the trishaw, almost all areas are accessible,” Busson says. “Unlike with a wheelchair, we can go far.” The two women’s friendship goes beyond the bike. “Annie has taught me to cook Peranakan food [cuisine of the early Chinese migrants], to play mahjong, and to to keep my house clean and ant-free,” adds Busson (Annie’s anti-ant trick: lemons).



The benefits aren’t just for the seniors; the pilots learn a ton, too. “I’ve seen places I did not know, and I’ve learned about the history of the area,” says Ditte Jakobsen, the head of the Cycling Without Age chapter in Capbreton, France. Jakobsen, a Denmark transplant, was excited to bring her country’s cycling culture to France and to explore her new home. One passenger gave Jakobsen a guided tour of the local forest, while another shared stories from wartime life inside bunkers on the coastline.


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I quibble with the use of the word seniors here to apparently mean elders with mobility issues. I suggest 'baby' seniors (as the senior games tend to call those of us under 60) and other able-bodied seniors could get much benefit from taking older seniors out for a trishaw ride. 



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