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Hadyn Wood has been a full-time unpaid carer for his 82-year-old Mother Sarah who has Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s since November 2020 and is supported by Devon Carers, a service provided by Westbank Community Health and Care based in Exminster.
Hadyn explains “Whilst my mother can walk slowly, she requires a walking aid or physical assistance due to a lack of coordination and stability, however I discovered that she can operate and enjoys using a floor mounted pedal machine, if we’re unable to go out due to inclement weather”.
Hadyn goes on to say “It’s obviously important that mum is mentally stimulated and gets exercise as well as fresh air, but until now, I have struggled to find a suitable, safe bike she could use outside. It would not be safe for herself or others for her to use any kind of bike or motorised chair. Similarly, a tandem is not suitable as if Mum were to lose her balance or have a mini stroke, we could both end up falling off. However, I recently discovered a bike which has been adapted to carry a carer and their patient, in a safe, stable, controlled way – riding side by side.
Hadyn describes the bike “The passenger seat rotates 90 degrees to assist with access. The seat is more like a bucket seat, rather than a saddle, and there are arm rests and a seat belt. There is also a foot rest or a 2nd set of pedals the patient can use. The pedals can be passive (freewheeling) or contribute to the propulsion of the bike. In addition, there is an electric motor and battery to assist with starting and hill climbing as well as 2 sets of handle bars and 8 gears each side, allowing the carer to retain control of the steering and braking, for safety reasons.
Upon discovering the bike, Hadyn arranged a demonstration and invited Dementia Support Worker, Sarah Ince from the Alzheimer’s Society, together with Managing Director of Home Instead North Devon & Exmoor and chair of Northern Devon Dementia Alliance, Adam Crispin to join him.
Hadyn finished by saying “I can honestly say the reaction from everyone was very positive and enlightening. I strongly believe these bikes would make a huge difference to both carers and their patients, both mentally and physically, improving wellbeing and stimulation for all. The bikes could also be a useful tool for rehabilitation following injury, (knee and Hip replacement), as there is an extra pair of hands (feet) and an electric motor, to assist in propulsion of the bike if the patient gets tired or feels poorly.
Hadyn is now looking to fundraise to purchase one of the bikes to support both his mum and other carers and their patients in the North Devon area. If you would like to support him please visit: