Hove Care Home Combines Cycling And Singing!

The success of  BBC1’s #DementiaChoir is something Autumn Lodge care home (Hove) and local charity ‘Pedal People’ combine weekly in their approach to supporting and enabling people living with dementia.

  • Dementia Awareness week 20 May 2019
  • 2 out of 3 care home residents are living with dementia.
  • 1 in 3 people will care for someone with dementia in their lifetime.
  • 3000 people living with dementia in Brighton and Hove.
  • 850,000 people with dementia in the UK.  1 million by 2025.
  • 225,000 will develop dementia this year = 1 every 3 minutes.
  • 1 in 6 people over 80 have dementia. In 20 years, that will be closer to 1 in 3
Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate Promo shoot with Pedal People Brighton – Volunteer cycle pilots ride out with special ‘Trishaws’ (three-wheel cycles with passenger cab up front) together with elder care homes residents.

Jackie Wenham, care home manager at Autumn Lodge in Hove was a finalist (final four for a UK Dementia Award.)  Shortlisted from hundreds of UK-wide entries in the ‘best dementia care home’ category in the National Dementia Care Awards 2018.

Elly Hargreave is Wind-in-Hair Ambassador in Chief at Pedal People – Cycling charity: Our volunteer cycle pilots ride out together with elder care homes residents – so they can feel the wind in their hair!  Many elders rarely have the chance to enjoy an outdoor adventure otherwise. 

Autumn Lodge specialist dementia care home: Dedicated to caring for people living with Dementia. We are a family run ‘home from home’ provider of specialist care. Established over 30 years ago by Sheila Bravery and now run by her son Christian and Care Home Manager Jackie Wenham (finalist in the UK Dementia Awards 2018). Proudly renowned by residents, families, care and dementia specialists as forward thinking, open to new approaches and passionate about quality of care for every individual.

Friendly, homely, welcoming to all. Family, friends, care team, activity leaders, health personnel – all can dine, chat, sit quietly together and enjoy all our home offers. It’s full of life and community here, with plenty of calm quiet spaces to relax in too.  The family includes resident therapy rabbit ‘Snowy’ and ‘Dottie’ our dog.  We have tranquil garden and outdoor space complete with water feature and bird aviary, two lounges (one quieter) and a conservatory.

Pedal People

#cyclingforallseasons

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate Promo shoot with Pedal People Brighton – Volunteer cycle pilots ride out with special ‘Trishaws’ (three-wheel cycles with passenger cab up front) together with elder care homes residents.

Our volunteer cycle pilots ride out together with elder care homes residents – so they can feel the wind in their hair!  Many elders rarely have the chance to enjoy an outdoor adventure otherwise. 

Our special ‘Trishaws’ (three-wheel cycles with passenger cab up front) enable them to experience our city and nature close-up and chat with passers-by.  

All riding the bikes enjoy the physical and mental well-being benefits. We are renowned for our balanced gender ratio of cycle pilots.  Around 75% of our passengers are living with dementia.  Rides are comfortable, fun, fully insured and free to elders.  We are a small, local Brighton charity. We run several rides a day from elder care homes, year-round. Donations always welcome.

What makes it special and why it makes a difference

It’s an extraordinary thing cycling with elders. Our rides literally bring care home residents ‘back into view’. The passenger cab is up front and open, so people are really noticed and passers-by chat and interact, resulting in smiles and waves on both sides. Our regular cycle adventures throughout each week travel the length of the seafront and around parks that these elders cannot reach by wheelchair or walking frame. Most cannot go out alone and have very limited mobility. Our volunteer cycle pilots are from all walks of life.  They make each ride a fun, healthy, interactive experience. All on board the bikes return buzzing from the wind in their hair! Smiles galore, we see spirits lifted, people report feeling ‘awake again’, ‘alive’, ‘delighted’ and sleeping better after rides out.

Reactions to rides!

‘I loved it, just loved it. So nice to talk with so many people and the children and even the dogs! It’s magic being on a bike outside with everyone!’ Reg 98 and Beryl, 90

‘I feel back in the land of the living’.  Violet, 95

‘Without exception the passengers come back completely exhilarated. They love seeing parts of the area they haven’t seen for years, as well as visiting local parks. It is a wonderful opportunity for them to mix with the wider community and makes them feel valued.’ Care home survey 2018

‘My parents (92 & 95) have so enjoyed being taken out from their care home revisiting areas they have known all their lives. They have been fascinated and loved the fact that so many people want to wave, stop, chat and marvel!  It seems to give them a feeling of freedom. The pilots make it a great experience from the attention, kindness and knowledge of the areas.’  Elaine

‘I went to visit Mrs B in hospital. She’s had a severe stroke. She didn’t recognise us but was very happy and serene to have company.  I mentioned the cycling and she said “Ah, do they still come on Monday morning. The best bit was everyone waving at us, I felt like I was famous!”  How lovely!  Her brain has been badly affected by the stroke, but she remembered that experience.’  Care home manager

‘Dementia gave them a rather lost look upon collection. The bike took them to utter joy and delight with the wind in their hair and memory jogging moments.’ Sally, volunteer cycle pilot

For more details contact Elly Hargreave at hello@pedalpeople.org.uk