Cycling Without Age

Issue 

Social Isolation for Seniors 

Why 

For elderly to remain an active part of the community

How 

 

What

About This Project

 

 

Parramatta Chapter's newly formed Sub Committee of local businesses, community members and government is preparing for the launch of Cycling Without Age. Join us in becoming part of a global movement that is sustained by community collaboration riding an electric assisted tricycle (Trishaw) providing free rides for residence of aged and disability services.

The Chapter creates opportunities for the interaction of passengers, riders and the community by promoting social inclusion to make passengers feel valued. Connecting elderly people and people unable to ride with the community and outdoors by giving them a free ride on a Trishaw piloted by volunteer

 

Community Captain Charlene Bordley has worked tirelessly over the years to build the networks for supporting and managing the Parramatta Chapter. To date volunteer riders have begun their training, supported by another Sydney Based Chapter. All positions have been filled on the Sub Committee along with a number of advisors from local organisations. Affiliated with Cycling Without Age Australia who placed an order earlier this year for a Trishaw from funds raised by Council On The Ageing to start a Parramatta Chapter.

 

Your support today helps with

1. Final payment of the arrival of a Trishaw being delivered Jan 2021 from Denmark.

2. Staying safe. During these changing times and environment of COVID 19 additional protective equipment is required to keep passengers and riders safe as well as being able to regularly clean surfaces.

3. Covering operational and promotional costs for 12 months allowing the sub committee to create a strategic plan for the sustainable future of community rides.

Be part of the story, cycling Parramatta, connecting people and outdoors enjoying a slow ride with the right to having the wind in their hair.

https://startsomegood.com/projects/cycling-without-age-parramatta

Mission Statement 

The Active Ageing Cycling program is an initiative to bring together the senior community in an engaging and social environment. 

 

Issue 

In Australia, over 15% of the population is aged 65 years and over according to the recent census results. There is an increasing proportion of older Australians in the community due to the increasing life expectancy (Australia is also understood to have one of the highest life expectancies in the world), with older Australians to live 7 years longer compared to the life expectancy in the mid-1960’s. It is common for the elderly community to experience the following, as they get older: 

  • Physical health demands associated with aging  

  • Loss of self-efficacy (become less independent) 

  • Loneliness 

  • Lower income levels 

It is common for seniors to participate in a higher level of leisure activities and community programs as they have more time to spend on recreational programs while receiving mental and physical benefits. It is important that healthy ageing is educated and encouraged in the senior community to reduce the impact of the mentioned experiences. An approach to achieve this is through the Active Ageing Cycling program, providing an opportunity for participants aged 50 +, to develop or improve their cycling skills (suitable for beginners or rusty riders) incorporating the social interaction element. 

 

Outcomes 

The active ageing cycling program aims to provide positive benefits to both participants and to the community. The seniors that participating in this program will have the opportunity to learn new skills in cycling as well as improve their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing through: 

  • Increased strength and mobility – mainly achieved through the implementation of the falls prevention NSW. Through cycling participants will demonstrate better joint mobility, strengthened bones, decreased body fats, lower levels of anxiety and depression. 

  • Lowers chances of participants suffering from cardiovascular diseases: stroke, heart disease or heart attacks. 

  • Feelings of independence. 

  • Empowerment to lead a healthy lifestyle 

  • Self-identity 

  • Stress relief 

    • These mental health benefits stem from the motivational and healthy engagement responses the older adults may display as a result of the program. 

  • Social inclusion: interacting with other seniors joining the program – seniors will then have feelings of connectedness, better quality of life. 

    • Feelings of loneliness and social isolation is common among this age group as it is often due to loss and separation of family. This impacts the elderlies mental health and decrease in positive health behaviours in turn. 

This program is also inclusive of the community and creating opportunities that the community environment and members will be able to benefit, including: 

  • Building relationships with others

  • Social connectedness 

  • Active transport – participants will be introduced to an environmentally and more sustainable mode of transport 

  • Improved community productivity and wellbeing

  • COVID-19 has caused the separation of community connectedness and interaction, the introduction of this program has allowed the community to be reunited and re-gain the physical and mental benefits from these recreational activities. 

 

RISK MANAGEMENT

Fall prevention NSW 

The government has developed a fall prevention policy that aims in reducing the prevalence of falls and fall-related injuries. It has been estimated that one in three senior Australians experience a fall each year and has been the leading cause of hospitalisation for older Australians. If a senior results to a fall, the most common injuries include hip and thigh fractures as well as head/brain injuries. Fall prevention is important in preventing a domino effect. The result of a fall could cause the elderly to lose their independence and limit them from returning to their (prior to injury) range of movement. 

The implementation of the NSW Health Policy is a framework that provides a collaboration in  resources, knowledge and expertise to reduce the incidence and severity of falls among older people and in turn reducing the physical, social and psychological impacts of the fall. 

Most programs that have the target population of ages over 50 years, have incorporated the fall prevention approach into their practice as a risk management strategy. The active ageing cycling program is part of the physical activity programs that incorporate the falls prevention policy into their interventions for older people, by implementing activities and skill development that strengthen seniors’ body in preventing the likelihood of falls. 

During the program there are three key factors that are highlighted in dealing with fall prevention: management strategies for common falls, minimising injuries from falls and responding to falls. Cycling is a moderate to high probability of falls however implementing the appropriate practices will reduce this likelihood. 

During skill acquisition, participants are taught to: 

  • Build their balance 

  • Improve strength 

  • Encouragement for healthy lifestyle behaviours (exercise/eating) 

  • Hazard perception and management. 

This program uses the fall prevention strategy as a guideline and target in the active ageing cycling program due to the extreme importance and the need for increased awareness and knowledge about this risk. 

Risk management and identification 

This program acknowledges that this target population is more vulnerable and have taken extra precautionary screening and measures to ensure the complete safety and wellbeing of the participants. The main risks are sourced from three main factors: the environment, the equipment and the individuals. 

Risks to people: 

  •  Exposure to COVID-19 

  •  Accidents/injuries to participant 

 

Environmental risks: 

  • Unsafe venue/public space grounds – e.g. potholes, uneven 

  • Collisions with other oncoming cyclists or pedestrians 

  • Extreme weather 

 

Equipment risks:

  • Broken/damaged bicycle equipment 

  • Helmet damage/ incorrect use 

 Through the identification of these risks the Addventageous team has devised an appropriate management strategies to ensure the mentioned risk poses little to no harm to the participants.

© 2020 Addventageous