Elderly care

Making new friends with Combi Bike Plus

Making new friends with Combi Bike Plus

When the residents of Denmark's largest nursing home exercise with a Combi Bike Plus, there is both humor and seriousness in the scene. The residents find it easy to use the mobility exerciser, according to physiotherapist Tom Rasmussen.

With a dementia ward, activity center, and room for 193 residents, Fælledgården on Østerbro in Copenhagen is currently the largest care facility in Denmark.

Tom Rasmussen is one of three physiotherapists in charge of managing the frequently challenging care and training programs for residents who, for instance, have dementia and other ailments.

– After examining the residents, we jointly identify a task for which we can prepare them. It frequently focuses on helping individuals become more adept at daily tasks. Having the ability to lift your arm or get out of bed on your own, for instance, he explains.

Minor contests for cycling teams

Combi Bike Plus is frequently featured in the training programs. When the resident has finished a program, they can continue to utilize one of the mobility trainers that are placed throughout the care facility or in the gym. Tom Rasmussen, who also coaches a “cycling team,” claims that some even have a Combi Bike standing in their apartments.

– We appreciate that it is group training rather than one-on-one instruction. If the elderly residents find themselves in good company, it is also simpler to motivate them, he says. Some people are also inspired by grouping them up and having a friendly competition to see who can ride the furthest in a quarter of an hour. 

– Then we slightly alter the individual’s resistance, so that some may ride with a resistance of four, while others ride with a resistance of seven. They can still compete, but it’s like playing golf with various handicaps against each other, he says.

Making friends throughout exercising

Five members make up a team, which practices twice a week for 30 minutes. Two occasionally remain and join a different squad. Creating dynamism in this way also allows the residents to meet new people from the vast nursing home.

– All throughout the place, we establish friendships. Additionally, we make an effort to put you in teams that are cognitively and physically similar, says Tom Rasmussen. Due to the risk of illness, the physiotherapists were prohibited from mixing the teams during Corona. Combi Bike Plus, on the other hand, is simple to keep clean and can typically be used without assistance. As a result, it works well as a training tool when there is a shutdown.

Multiple benefits

According to Tom Rasmussen, the Combi Bike Plus is an effective training tool for various diseases, but it relies on the individual’s particular demands.

– For instance, I currently have a patient from the dementia unit who only needs to move physically in order for endorphins to be produced in the brain, which, among other things, can lessen pain. Another resident is silent most of the time, but while he is cycling, he chatters nonstop. Over time, he has cycled across Copenhagen, and it is evident that something about using a Combi Bike Plus for training sets him off, says Tom Rasmussen.

He notes that because you can exercise both arms and legs, the mobility exerciser is especially useful in getting the complete muscle and joints moving. Many elderly people also suffer from edema, or swollen legs that make it difficult to bend them. The Combi Bike Plus is a wonderful training tool to get your veins pumping.

– If the resident’s mobility in the leg is so limited because of edema that he can hardly bend and stretch, we utilize a vela chair and place it a little high at first, so you don’t have to bend your knees as much. And then we move it down in height when the resident develops some more mobility from the therapy, he says.

Easy-to-use training tools

Residents, according to Tom Rasmussen, find the Combi Bike Plus straightforward to operate, easy to adjust the resistance, and easy to access – whether they are sitting in a wheelchair or a regular chair. Fælledgården also has regular exercise bikes, walking bars, weight training equipment, leg press machines, and training balls.

– We also had a cross trainer, but many elderly people found it to be too difficult to use. Combi Bike Plus is easier to use, he says.

Tom Rasmussen assisting a Combi Bike Plus user

Physiotherapist Tom Rasmussen assists Rasmus Sørensen, a resident at Fælledgården, Denmark’s largest nursing home, in getting started with today’s exercise with Combi Bike Plus.