The Neighborhoods at Brookview Purchases Tandem Wheelchair Bicycles

  • June 01, 2020

Activities Assistant Jessie Kuechenmeister pedals resident Ron Waltz in one of The Neighborhoods at Brookview’s newly purchased tandem wheelchair bikes. The Department of Health recently cleared The Neighborhoods to take residents outside while following COVID-19 guidelines. The timely arrival of the bicycles, which were made possible thanks to a grant from the state, will allow residents to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors this summer.
Activities Assistant Jessie Kuechenmeister pedals resident Ron Waltz in one of The Neighborhoods at Brookview’s newly purchased tandem wheelchair bikes. The Department of Health recently cleared The Neighborhoods to take residents outside while following COVID-19 guidelines. The timely arrival of the bicycles, which were made possible thanks to a grant from the state, will allow residents to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors this summer.

The Neighborhoods at Brookview recently purchased two new tandem wheelchair bicycles to help improve the quality of life and overall well-being for nursing home residents.

“Being outdoors has several research-based benefits, including increased vitamin D levels, reduced anxiety, and improved sleep quality,” said Activities Assistant Jessie Kuechenmeister. “Our two new tandem wheelchair bicycles will allow residents to participate in bike riding and social engagements in a one-on-one or small group setting. It also gives them a unique and innovative experience to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors. We’re excited to have them just in time for summer.”

The purchase was made possible thanks to an Innovation Grant from the South Dakota Department of Human Services Division of Long-Term Services and Supports.

Each bicycle has a passenger seat at the front while the cyclist sits behind the passenger. The passenger seat is adjustable and includes a lap belt and adjustable footrests. In addition, the passenger seat can be quickly released from the cyclist seat and used as a normal wheelchair if needed. Each bike also comes with electro pedal assist to aid a cyclist in hilly terrain or when fatigued from pedaling.

“The Department of Health has given us the clearance to take residents outside while following COVID-19 social distancing guidelines,” added Kuechenmeister. “As such, when our team members take residents out for bike rides, both will wear masks and will maintain a six-foot social distance from others.”

Team members are being trained on how to use the bikes and assist residents while riding.

The Neighborhoods at Brookview skilled nursing home offers short and long-term care to residents. The facility embraces the household model of care which aims to create a homelike, social setting for residents. Staff incorporates the five person-directed values in care: Choice, Dignity, Respect, Self-Determination and Purposeful Living. For more information, please visit brookingshealth.org/Neighborhoods.

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical, and medical clinics in Arlington, White and Volga, South Dakota. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, emergency and extended care services. Brookings Hospital provides local access to doctors in Brookings and offers robotic da Vinci surgery and Mako robotic-arm assisted procedures, making it one of the premier rural community hospitals in South Dakota. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.