A memory that has haunted me for many years is that of Seniors in the Nursing Home where my grandmother lived. Talk about the walking dead! Sitting in wheelchairs, half asleep, waiting. For the dinner bell, or tea, or the phone call that never came, or kids that seldom, if ever, visited… tired of the repeated, predictable activities – depressed by boredom and hearing that yet another patient/inmate/resident had died. It was very saddening.

When my Dad was in a nursing home, I heard more depressing stories of boredom, Seniors feeling out of touch and lonely, neglected, forgotten, abused, intimidated. I witnessed the feelings of hopelessness and misery, gloom, and, yes, sheer, unadulterated boredom.

And then I read about a man who was arranging rides in rickshaws/trishaws/pedicabs for Seniors in nursing homes. His great idea was spreading around the world! As a cyclist myself, what concerned me was the danger to the passengers, who were placed in front of the person pedaling, the difficulty to steer, the limited space, and the high cost of the rickshaws. So my business partner and I went to work and found a way to provide a safer, more affordable version that has more space, is easier to steer, is more comfortable, and affords more protection against the weather.

It took a while to get one, test it, make adjustments and additions, and negotiate the right price from the manufacturers, and now it is finally ready. This is a simple, yet effective way to add to the quality of life and of those who have given so much to us throughout their lives.

Take your loved ones for a ride, offer Seniors and disabled people free rides, use as a taxi service (they charge a dollar a minute in New York City), use in car dealership lots or shopping mall lots, use to promote your service (advertising space sides and back) – the applications are endless and everyone has fun. Once you see the reactions of Seniors, you will be eager to help more of them. And Volunteers love riding the Trike Transporters. See the videos and testimonials below.

“A study examined how nursing home residents spend their day. Twenty-seven residents of a nursing home facility were observed for 13 h each. At 5-min intervals, location, position, mood, and activity were recorded. Residents spent 65% of their time doing little or nothing, and 12% of their time in social activities. They spent the majority of their time in their rooms, sitting and alone. Although this facility has a high standard of care and a creative activities department, residents still spent a great portion of their days inactive, immobile, and alone. This indicates that improvements in programming are still needed. More engaging long-term care facilities may promote and support social interaction and meaningful activity throughout the day.” – D 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.

Nothing lifts the spirits like a good dose of fresh air, the wind in your hair, happy companions enjoying it with you – a fun ride in the back of a trike.

Robin Elliott

4X4 New May 2017 - Copy