We are Bruyère


Bruyère launches Cycling Without Age in Byward Market


Following the unprecedented success of its Cycling Without Age program in Orléans, Bruyère Continuing Care proudly launched Cycling Without Age at its downtown location, thanks to a generous donation by the Taggart Parkes Foundation.
A volunteer pilot and a resident on the Cycling Without Age bicycle 
Cycling Without Age is a program designed to enhance seniors’ lives by providing them with an opportunity to stay connected and active in their community. The program stems from a simple act of generosity—taking one or two seniors out on a bike ride. It allows older adults to experience nature and their city from the safety of an innovative bicycle that acts as rickshaw. The ride also provides an ideal setting for the specially-trained volunteer pilots to connect with seniors and share their passion for cycling.

Last summer, Bruyère partnered with Gary Bradshaw, a community member who discovered Cycling Without Age while travelling in Europe, to launch the first program in an Ontario health care organization. In its inaugural season, the program provided 193 people at Saint-Louis Residence and the Bruyère Village with the outdoor cycling experience. More than 1,500 km were travelled.

“We piloted the program at our other long-term care home in Orléans and it was such a success that we just had to find a way to expand it,” said Guy Chartrand, Bruyère’s new president and CEO.

When the Taggart Parkes Foundation made a donation for Bruyère to purchase a second bicycle, it was the ideal opportunity to launch a second Cycling Without Age program to benefit our residents at the Élisabeth Bruyère Residence. “We have such a beautiful city and to be located right in the heart of it, there is so much for people to see and experience,” said Paul Bard, one of the many specially trained volunteer pilots at Bruyère.

Many seniors living in long-term care or retirement homes get lonely and no longer have the physical ability to jump on a bicycle and take a ride down memory lane. This is how Cycling Without Age’s mission was born—to give older adults the opportunity to experience their surroundings, reminisce and share their memories.

Earlier this summer, Bruyère Continuing Care’s Therapeutic Support Services team was awarded the Canadian College of Health Leaders’ Celebrating the Human Spirit Award. The award recognizes and honours the meaningful contributions in health care for acts of caring and compassion that go above and beyond the call of duty, which inspire others and have a profound and lasting impact.

“The stories we’ve heard of how positively these people’s lives have been impacted as a result of these bike rides are extraordinary,” added Karen Lemaire, director of Therapeutic Support Services at Bruyère. “For Bruyère, this program perfectly aligns with our integrated seniors’ care strategy,” she concludes.