Wheelchair Biking for the Treatment of Depression
It is estimated that the incidence of depression in older adults living in long term care facilities can be as high as 77% and is the most common mood disorder of late life. Unrecognized, untreated or undertreated, depression has a host of consequences for older adults. It is important to recognize and aggressively treat depression as its impact goes far beyond affecting mood. The highest suicide rate of any age group is for those over the age of 65. This is quite significant when considering that older adults who commit suicide had visited their primary provider close to the time of the suicide: 20% on the same day, 40% within one week, and 75% within one month.
The purpose of this evidence-based guideline is to describe a specific recreation therapy program, wheelchair biking, for the treatment of depression in older adults, with and without cognitive impairments. The goal of this guideline is to reduce depressive mood in older adults and to provide a complementary or alternative treatment to medications. Written 2003; Revised 2010.
Toolkit Included in Guideline:
- Geriatric Depression Scale – Short Form
- Geriatric Depression Scale – Long Form
- Cornell Scale for Depression
- Wheelchair Biking Resident Selection Checklist
- Wheelchair Bike Staff and Volunteer Training
- Wheelchair Biking Training Record
- Therapy Biking Protocol for Older Adults in Residential Settings
- Wheelchair Biking Ride Record
- Knowledge Assessment Test
- Process Evaluation Monitor
- Outcomes Monitor
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