St. Francis Home residents receive early Christmas present

Shelly Haberman
Trishaw bicycles

Thanks to support from the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation donors, St. Francis Home residents will be enjoying two “Cycling Without Age” trishaw bicycles. The bicycles will be incorporated into daily activities allowing residents and their families to enjoy the fun and freedom of riding a bicycle at any age. The bicycles were also partially funded through a state grant.

“We are always looking for different ways to expose our residents to new opportunities during their time with us at St. Francis Home,” says Deanna Tapplin, St. Francis Home director of Health Services. “We know that these trishaw bicycles will extend our efforts to give residents a more fulfilling environment and allow them to experience the happiness of riding a bicycle. We know that these bicycles will give time for residents to share special moments with family and friends.”

“Cycling Without Age” is an organization that started in 2012 in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark when a gentleman named Ole looked across the road at his neighboring care facility and decided that the elderly neighbors should also enjoy being out on the bike path with the wind in their hair.

So one day he rented a trishaw bicycle and invited them out for a bike ride. The residents were all overjoyed by the bike ride so Ole took the idea to a civil society consultant from the City of Copenhagen and together they purchased five trishaw bicycles and launched “Cycling Without Age.”

The organization has now spread to all corners of Denmark, and since 2015 to another 38 countries around the world.

“Many of our residents don’t necessarily have the physical ability it takes to bike a trip down memory lane, down to the harbor or just a trip around to feel that they are still alive,” Tapplin says. “We want to give older adults the opportunity to feel the wind rush through their hair. It gives them the opportunity to see the world beyond their living spaces.”

The trishaw bicycles will allow St. Francis Home residents to engage with others in an active setting, allowing them to have meaningful dialogues and share stories about their past.

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