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Virtual bike ride takes seniors on a trip down memory lane

Posted at 4:26 PM, Apr 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-20 17:42:15-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A stationary bike paired with Google Street View is taking seniors with Alzheimer's or Dementia on a virtual trip down memory lane. 

BikeAround, the innovative therapy program, is one that Senior Star at Wexford Place started just three weeks ago. 

"It's just amazing what a bike and Google Maps can do. It's crazy," said Pam Wilson, Rehab Manager at Wexford Place. 

BikeAround was developed in Sweden. It's helping seniors with cognitive disabilities as well as seniors who just want to stay active. 

"We start just engaging them in memories, and they lose track that they're actually exercising," said Wilson. 

Carolyn O'Brien has often taken the BikeAround for a spin. O'Brien spent 29 years as a flight attendant, traveling all around the world. Some of her favorite places to virtually revisit are Paris and Cairo.

Wilson said she can see the progress O'Brien is making with her memories. 

"The speech, the cognition and the fact that they're engaged for longer keeps that brain more active," said Wilson. 

Senior Star at Wexford Place is the first of Senior Star's 14 communities in the country to implement the new program. They're also the first senior living community in the country to use BikeAround.