Parkinson’s Awareness month is coming up in just a few days and many people are not aware that many people with Parkinson’s need a different, specialized walker.
If you, your loved one, or your patient are able to control a standard rolling walker, then, by all means, continue using it. If however, you suffer from Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Ataxia, CP or PSP and your mobility needs are not addressed by these basic walkers, then you need to ensure your safety. Simply stated: getting a walker that supports your specific needs can dramatically impact your quality of life.
Stability Starts with “U”
Balance is the dominant issue with most neurological conditions and individuals with these conditions are at greater risk for falling. That is why the U-Step was designed with its signature “U” shaped base that surrounds the individual and braces them from falling in every direction. The solid welded base is so strong that it does not flex and bend when you push down on it as you can feel with standard walkers. 75% of the weight of the U-Step is in the base which gives it a very low center of gravity, and is much more stable than other walkers that have their weight distributed proportionally from top to bottom.
Reverse Braking System
With a standard walker, it is hard to come to a standing position without the walker getting away from you. U-Step’s reverse brake keeps the walker stable in brake mode and when you’re ready to walk you squeeze one of the hand brakes and you can walk with it. When you are ready to sit down, the walker will remain a steady support for you then as well. This unique system gives you more confidence with every step as you are actively disengaging the brake and reducing your worry of having to activate the brake if you feel yourself falling.
A common problem with regular walkers is that they simply go too fast for people. Rolling walkers are only helpful if you are able to control them. Our tension feature allows you to dial up the resistance on the main turning wheels and in doing so the walker rolls with some resistance and it’s much easier to walk with. If you ever feel that your walker is moving too fast (or too slow) you can adjust the tension control to your level of comfort.
Laser Module for Parkinson’s Freezing
Since we focus on neurological conditions, we developed specialized accessories to meet the needs of our customers. Over ten years ago, we introduced our laser module for reducing Parkinson’s freezing and based this revolutionary idea on a paper by a neurologist named Dr. Callahan. The laser module projects a bright line on the ground in front of the user and this helps the majority of Parkinson’s patients walk better with less hesitation. Not only does this reduce the frustration of getting from point A to point B, but it also reduces falls. It is quite remarkable seeing someone go from walking with reluctance to walking with confidence before your eyes.
The U-Step was designed to handle hard use. As we are well aware, the more severe the condition the stronger the walker needs to be. We designed our bottom frame to be made out of steel tubing in order to handle the stresses people with neurological conditions put on their walker. People with conditions that have advanced – such as Multiple Sclerosis, Ataxia, Parkinson’s, CP and PSP are very hard on their walkers and from our experience, these customers are our best testers! They can destroy a standard walker in months, but the U-Step’s strength is designed to absorb the stress put on it. (They are also built to be repaired after extensive rough use where other walkers simply snap and must be discarded.)
Every condition that restricts one’s ability to move freely is a challenge. Parkinson’s, like other neurological disorders, comes with unique challenges – as unique as everyone struggling with the symptoms. The devices that help you manage those challenges also need to be uniquely tailored to support and give a sense of security.
Can a uniquely designed device make that much of a difference? It can – it does. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the return of a confident stride in mere minutes because a customer switches to a properly suited – uniquely designed device.