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DONOSTIA - SAN SEBASTIÁN KRAKÓW MUNICH ODENSE SALZBURG





 

Munich - AENEAS Measure #3
Senior citizen mobility training
 

Click on images to enlarge
 
Introducing specially adapted bicycles
 
A tricycle, specially adapted to the needs of older people
 
A two-person bike

Background

Mobility – especially active travel – is an important factor in older peoples' lives. It stands for independence, autonomy and quality of life. Being mobile makes participation in social life easy and helps to keep in touch with relatives and friends.

Thus many older people practice cycling regularly, however they feel that road traffic is increasingly challenging for them. They also find that standard bicycles are not adapted to their requirements.


More than 1000 training participants

Munich’s local environmental organisation Green City developed a cycling training scheme for older people in 2006, supported by the City of Munich. The major goal of the training courses is to make older people enjoy everyday cycling. Moreover, they should be trained for critical situations in traffic and overcome acceptance problems regarding specially adapted bikes like tricycles and electrically supported bikes.

The training scheme was carried out in cooperation with the local police, a physiotherapist and local “Older Citizen’s Service Centres”, with the latter one serving as multiplier and providing the venue. A typical training session started with an introduction by the police on road safety issues. Later on, a physiotherapist explained age related health issues and showed small exercises that can be done for prevention. Finally, the participants had the opportunity to test different types of bicycles, all of them specially adapted to the needs of older people.


Lessons learnt

It is important to work with relatively small groups and to provide a wide range of bicycles suited for different abilities. This can be achieved by involving local bicycle dealers. Local stakeholders such as the “Older Citizen’s Service Centres” with approx. 25 branch offices in the city’s neighbourhoods can serve as multiplier.

Because most older people have no training about traffic signs and right behavior it is very important to give them this knowledge. For this reason the involvement of the local police is important, and because the senior citizens trust and follow the advice of police officers very much.

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