For older adults living with dementia, hopping on a Motiview stationary bike can bring a world of benefits — and some healthy competition.
Motitech’s Motiview technology puts older people and people living with dementia behind the wheel of a stationary bike and lets them visit locations from their past. It also gives them the opportunity to take part in an annual global sporting event. “It’s become a real international happening that’s creating connections not just within the seniors’ homes, but between homes all over the world,” says Dan McEwen, Director of Market Development at Motitech.
Photo Courtesy Motitech
Motiview combines the “slow TV” trend — comforting HD videos low on action, like hours-long, calming train rides — with relaxing exercise on stationary bikes.
Both leg and upper extremity bikes can be peddled, depending on the user’s capabilities. The bikes don’t move the action on the screen, which is a deliberate choice after many years of research.
"We make our videos in collaboration with our end-users and film them with seniors in mind,” McEwen says.
“We ensure a smooth ride at a good pace. The video does not go by too fast, so the cyclist has the opportunity to take it all in and enjoy the ride."
Our company got innovative and created an event specifically for seniors.
- Dan McEwen
Seniors at facilities around the globe are taking daily rides using the Motiview technology, and many are training for Motitech’s annual race event, the Road Worlds for Seniors.
McEwen says the international happening got its start in 2017, in Bergen, Norway. That year, Bergen was hosting the UCI Road World Championships — an annual competition for professional cyclists.
“[The race organizers in Bergen] tried to make it a big community event. They had big happenings for it running out of the schools, daycares, and even places of work. But there was really nothing for seniors and those living with dementia,” McEwen recalls. “Our company got innovative and created an event specifically for seniors.”
Photo Courtesy Motitech
Since launching in 2017, demand to participate in the Road Worlds for Seniors competition has grown substantially — with more than 4,000 participants logging 108,412 kilometres in 2019.
Even during the pandemic in 2020, more than 3,000 seniors participated in seven different countries, and McEwen expects the 2021 event (which starts on September 6) to be the biggest one yet.
Everyone who participates is rewarded with a custom-made medal, and other awards are given out for things such as most kilometres logged, the care teams who provided the best support, and more.
As demand to participate in the Road Worlds for Seniors competition has risen over the years, so, too, has global demand for Motitech’s Motiview units at care facilities.
In response, the company has shot hundreds of HD videos of bike trips from all over the world, so that seniors can converse with each other while getting some exercise and reminisce about scenic views from their past.
McEwen says the familiarity with the video being projected on the Motiview is especially important for people living with dementia. As they start to reminisce about places from their childhood or other important points in their lives, conversations begin with other residents at the care facilities, sparking memories and social interaction.
“We’re firm believers in tackling ageism by allowing people to participate in valued activities,” McEwen says. “It’s so valuable for people living with dementia not just to be able to revisit those familiar places, but to share stories with those around them. And then, of course, we sneak in that physical activity with some nice, low-impact cycling.”