As many people wind down for the festive period, a group of care village residents are showing no signs of slowing, instead putting their pedals to the metal as they cycle to Lapland and around the world virtually. The initiative is a fundraiser targeting the purchase of sensory equipment for their fellow residents to enjoy.
From Rovaniemi in northern Finland, the gateway to the arctic circle, to snow hotels and Santa’s workshop, older people and those living with dementia residing at Belong Atherton care village have spent this month cycling in aid of their cause. Colleagues at the care village have also been supporting via cardio equipment to encourage friendly competition whilst adding to the kilometre count.
Newly appointed fitness instructor, Jonathan Perrins, is leading Belong Atherton’s efforts: “Our original goal was to complete 50km this month and we’ve already surpassed this milestone, so we’re aiming to rack-up as many kilometres as possible before Christmas Day on Saturday. Everyone is really enjoying cheering each other on and there’s a buzz of excitement to see how far we can get in the next few days.”
The fundraiser is made possible thanks to special equipment in the Mealhouse Lane village’s state-of-the-art gym which allow participants to explore breath-taking landscapes throughout the world via a linked screen to their exercise bikes, some of which are adapted to accommodate wheelchair users, affording all residents the opportunity to make a contribution.
Jonathan Perrins continues: “The benefits of regular exercise for older people are well documented and we’ve included the challenge in our residents’ bespoke fitness plans, which has been very motivational and makes exercise fun.
“Regular exercise enhances mood, improves sleep and provides stimulating activity, along with commonly-known physical benefits. All in all, it’s a winner and we hope the community will get behind us as we raise funds for sensory equipment which will continue to enhance the lives of our customers.”