Adaptive Bicycles Delight Residents During Quarantine

Everyone agrees the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home is unique.  If you have ever visited, worked or lived here, you know how warm and lively and inviting our home is. The restrictions from the Covid pandemic have made it essential that we use extra creativity and adaptability to keep residents stimulated, content, safe and healthy.

Currently, residents of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home are enjoying a timely treat with the purchase of the FUN2Go three-wheel tandem adaptive cycle, and it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

These adaptive cycles are manufactured in the Netherlands from a company called Van Raam, who has been making bikes for almost 100 years. Each bike is made individually on behalf of the customer’s needs.  The Fun2Go is a double rider cycle, a three-wheel tandem, easy to maneuver, and is designed for conversation as the riders sit side by side. One person steers, but both can pedal and have a full view experience. The seat is adjustable with no steps and comes with safety belts and back supports. A user-friendly switch will turn on the motor to give the tricycle power to use under any circumstance, especially going up hills. The resident does not have to pedal if they are tired or unable to do so.

Chris Ulven, executive director, stated, “watching the residents smile and laugh as they get to enjoy something they haven’t done for years, probably decades… is priceless!

A resident commented that “Being on the bike is a good feeling, like being a kid.”

For months now, Rose Blumkin Jewish Home staff have been working around the clock ensuring that residents receive not only the best care possible, but are working to coordinate window visits, drive-by parades,  a pen pal program and much more. Staff have also turned to Zoom and other technologies to facilitate a wide range of virtual activity opportunities from visits with loved ones to entertainment.

In the midst of COVID-19 chaos, musicians have turned to technology to inspire and perform for residents of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home.  Music is such an integral part of life for both students and elders.

Omaha Area Youth Orchestra created a ‘symbolic concert’ and had musicians perform a small snippet of the music for residents at the Blumkin Home.  The OAYO director stated,  “Although we were sad to have canceled the rest of the season and even sadder that the residents of the Blumkin home couldn’t have regular visits from loved ones, at least this was something that we could do that was in keeping with our mission and values.”

RBJH Activities Coordinator Cheryl Poulin shares one story of Caroline, an OAYO student, and Betsey, a resident. “Caroline was wonderful with Betsey! She gave Betsey her own private concert. Caroline played her bassoon and Betsey moved her hands to the music.  I think it has succeeded in both lifting the spirits of the residents and expanding the hearts of the Omaha Area Youth.”

Friends and family of Rose Blumkin Jewish Home residents have come up with ways to show their appreciation for RBJH staff during this trying time.  Weekly catered staff lunches from generous community members have been well received.

In an effort to make things lively for the residents…Wednesdays are now Wacky Wednesday.  Each week is a different theme with opportunity for decorations and costumes.  Recent examples have been…. Disney Day, Mardi Gras, Renaissance Faire and Back to School.

All these efforts help bring comfort to the residents and staff who know they are supported by our community.  We are incredibly blessed to have the privilege of caring for our elders during these most unusual and trying times.

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