The Alter-G antigravity treadmill is a great asset for our clients at Grace Lutheran Communities and it is also available to members of the Eau Claire community who ask about how it can be part of their rehab therapy.
Physical Therapist, Jen, who works with Midwest Physical Therapy at Syverson Rehab and Health, provided some insight on which types of clients are most benefitted by using the Alter-G for rehab. Jen said:
Neurological involvement with decreased lower extremity coordination and gait quality – the patient tolerates a longer gait training session at lower weight bearing, which allows for greater repetition and thus better muscle memory development for normal movement patterns. One of three camera angles can be selected to show the patient either a front, side or posterior view of their legs on the video screen, allowing them to see their gait pattern and make adjustments to their gait pattern with real-time visual feedback. They can “see” what their feet are doing without looking down.
Pulmonary disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia) or General Debility with poor activity tolerance – the patient tolerates a longer functional activity time ambulating in the Alter-G at minimized weight bearing. Vitals are easily monitored while they are walking. They can take standing rest breaks as needed while being supported by the Alter-G.
Weight-Bearing Restrictions – The patient with a lower extremity weight bearing restriction (example – hip fracture with an average 6 weeks of limited weight-bearing post-op) can be put in the Alter-G at a specific WB level from 20%-100%. 20% is considered “toe-touch” weight-bearing, so with a new post-op hip fracture repair, the patient can actually ambulate in the Alter-G and work on a normal gait pattern, functionally strengthening and re-training the muscles in that leg using normal, functional movement, rather than being limited to exercises in bed or chair and attempting to “hop” with a walker, which is not normal movement. This should lead to better outcomes with a smoother transition to normal gait pattern when the weight bearing restriction is lifted.
The patient with an upper extremity weight bearing restriction (examples – fracture or rotator cuff repair) who normally requires a walker to ambulate can be placed in the Alter-G. The Alter-G provides the balance support that their walker would normally provide, and they can continue to ambulate during their upper extremity rehab, which will minimize any decline in wellness or gait quality that might have otherwise occurred.
Healthcare is always changing, and there are great new options for seniors! Grace Lutheran Communities team members Randy Rennock and Dylan Faulkner presented a “Lunch and Learn” for seniors explaining healthcare trends in 2015 and we’re excited to be part of the new wave of change. The newest Grace Lutheran Communities rehab suites will be designed to meet the needs of a more tech-savvy generation of seniors.
- Technology plays a big role in how we deliver care and it how patients receive rehab care.
2. We know that our future clients will likely have smart phones, and we can use this technology for care. Smartphone options can also become part of calling for help, documentation and communication between patients and staff. We are also aware that charging stations and wifi are becoming part of resident needs.
3. Smart TVs mean television isn’t only for viewing any more. New healthcare incorporates internet access, video and media streaming, admission and discharge information and dining options through the TV screen.
4. Resident-centered care is part of the new norm. We provide individualized care in a home-like environment. This is a change from previous caregiving trends. Rather than a hospital-like environment, new healthcare offers a comfortable stay that is more like home. Residents have more choices about food, activities, and care than ever before.
To find out more about Grace Lutheran Communities upcoming projects, visit our Facebook page or check out the news on our website.
Imagine running or walking faster than you ever thought your body could go. Imagine recovering from an injury or knee replacement faster than you could on your own. Imagine having access to equipment that elite athletes use to train for the world’s biggest events. It has now arrived in Eau Claire.
Grace Lutheran Communities, an organization with nearly fifty years of experience in the senior care industry has unveiled a new, high-tech AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill, now in use at Syverson Lutheran Rehab and Health in Eau Claire.
CEO Mike Christensen says, “This is an amazing, space-age piece of equipment that will help not only our friends and neighbors in the Grace system, but also people all over western Wisconsin.”
The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill® has been installed to help our patients recover from their injuries as fast as physically possible. The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill uses advanced unweighting technology to provide unsurpassed support, safety and stability. This senior rehabilitation treadmill is ideal for geriatric patients recovering from neurologic and orthopedic-related injuries. The Anti-Gravity Treadmill also provides long-term care patients a way to safely improve their functional mobility and overall health.
“The AlterG system allows us to precisely unwept a patient’s body much more scientifically than an old fashioned therapy pool. That means you can adjust the treadmill by one percent increments as the patient progresses. It’s also much safer because we don’t have to take the precautions against surgical wound infections as you do when dealing with water in a pool,” Christensen said.
The AlterG is also a phenomenal piece of equipment designed to help injured athletes, pediatric patients and has even been used by the medical staff on NBC’s hit show The Biggest Loser” to help patients with weight loss.
by Grace Lutheran Communities staff writer