Eli Marie Nising (75) was diagnosed with Alzheimers a few years back. She has suffered a lot of pain in her body over a considerable period and was fearful to overload her body too much. Exercise was regarded as difficult without too much pain. The safest thing to do was simply to sit quietly.
Times have changed: Now there’s a physically fit woman sitting in the lounge at the Nykirkehjemmet nursing home in Bergen, impatient to get started with the day’s training session.
Needed a lot of help
When Eli Marie was given a place at the Nykirke home in Bergen, she was quite big and took a lot of painkillers. Her daughter, Tone Tenold, was worried about her mother staying there lest there be even more sitting still and passivity became the norm.
Owing to her illness, Eli Marie could be looked upon as aggressive and negative. In addition, her weight meant that she needed a great deal of help to get out of her chair and move around.
A radical change
In the summer of 2013, Eli Marie’s family were unable to visit the Nykirke home very much owing to travel abroad. When Tenold came back to visit her mother, something was radically changed.
«There was a much slimmer, smiling woman who met us and I was immediately afraid that she’s stopped eating or that something else was wrong,» she tells us.
While Tenold and her family were away, the Municipality of Bergen had begun a trial project at the city’s nursing homes. The local authority wanted to motivate residents to exercise using a specially adapted training cycle for arms and legs, with accompanying videos as motivation. The videos are from the users’ home towns and the cycling gives users the feeling of cycling round familiar places. In other words, the concept now known as Motiview had been installed at the Nykirkehjemmet.
«The videos really carried her away. She felt like she was out in the streets of Bergen, cycling round and meeting people she knew. She enjoyed herself so much, she could cycle up to three-quarters of an hour a day. She also gets a lot of attention from the nurses at the home because of her cycling. The improvement was so noticeable that we had problems believing it,» Tenvold says.
Lost 11 kilos
«I’ve lost 11 kilos,» Eli Marie tells us proudly when she is about to start her daily cycle trip.
The nurses keep track of how far she cycles in each session. In today’s session, she cycles 5 kilometres in 40 minutes. Eli Marie has now left her walker to one side and her general mood has noticeably changed since beginning with Motiview.
«I’m going to keep cycling until I wear the bike out,» Eli Marie laughs. She has also said how much she’d like a film of Haugesund where she grew up.
«My mother has become much more positive and gets around much more easily. She’s also easier to deal with for the nurses, who have to do so much heavy lifting. We’re so grateful that the Nykirkehjemmet made this possible. They’re unbelievable good!» the daughter says enthusiastically.