Friday 16 November 2018

Dublin dementia care home launches bike scheme to allow residents to 'take a trip down memory lane'

Saint Joseph's residents Kay and Maura being driven by staff member James Leahy and accompanied by Kay’s husband Aidan O’Toole
Saint Joseph's residents Kay and Maura being driven by staff member James Leahy and accompanied by Kay’s husband Aidan O’Toole

Rachel Farrell

A Dublin care home is launching a scheme to cycle residents living with dementia around the area to help them experience the outdoors.

Saint Joseph's Shankill are looking for local volunteers to cycle their newly purchased 'TrioBike' alongside residents of the home.

An affiliate of the Cycling Without Age programme, the staff from Saint Josephs' are hoping that people with dementia will be able to "take a trip down memory lane" by cycling around the ground and local town.

"Saint Joseph’s residents no longer have the physical ability to hop on a bike and feel the wind in their hair.  The TrioBike makes it possible for them once again to take a trip down memory lane, down to the park or just simply around the grounds of Saint Joseph’s, which makes them feel that they are alive," Saint Joseph's said.

Fundraising manager Siobhan Grant said the idea started when a staff member came across the TrioBike online.

"The TrioBike was purchased from funds raised through a sponsored initiative by Aidan O’Toole, whose wife Kay is a resident at Saint Joseph’s and the project has been driven by staff and family members led by Aidan and staff member Jim Leahy.  

"It demonstrates the community spirit and determination to make moments matter that this home from home envelopes."

Volunteers will be able to chat with the residents on their cycle, encouraging them to reminisce on the past.

"For the residents, it will be great for them to be outside in nature, sitting in comfort as they're cycled along. It will be amazing for them," she told Independent.ie.

"Volunteers will enable the residents to experience nature up close from the comfort and safety of the TrioBike and also give them an opportunity to tell their story in the environment where they have lived their lives."

With over 30 volunteers signed up ready, including staff and local residents, Saint Joseph's are encouraging people in the area to sign up to be a "TrioBike pilot". 

Saint Joseph's in Crinken lane, Shankill is Ireland's only care home dedicated to dementia. Their aim is to "lead the way in dementia care in Ireland, providing highest quality and person centered care" to their residents. 

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