became the first in the state to offer
a full-time outpatient setting.
This state-of-the-art technology,
developed by Victor-based Gorbel
Medical, can “unweight” and provide
fall protection to individuals with a
variety of impairments as they practice
walking, improve strength and over-
come balance concerns.
Designed to accommodate a patient
weighing up to 350 pounds, the
SafeGait 360° Balance and Mobility
Trainer uses an overhead device that
slides along a monorail-like track. It
can help people who are working to
overcome a wide variety of challenges,
including stroke, MS (multiple sclero-
sis), Parkinson’s disease, amputations
and traumatic brain injuries.
Before the SafeGait 360° even arrived
at Thompson, Director of Rehabilita-
tion Services Carole Drake says, pa-
tients who heard it was coming began
booking their appointments.
The first to use it was a man who’d
had a stroke and had experienced
anxiety over the possibility of a fall dur-
ing previous physical therapy sessions.
Drake says the system—which can
be adjusted to a patient’s individual
needs—provided reassurance each
time the man needed it.
“Every time the machine caught
him, he gained confidence and pushed
himself that much harder,” Drake says,
noting that the man told the therapy
team he felt he accomplished more in
his first SafeGait 360° session than he
ever had in physical therapy before.
Mike Brooks of Canandaigua was
also among the first patients to use the
SafeGait 360° at Thompson. Health
concerns, including spinal stenosis and
arthritis, have been making it increas-
ingly difficult for him to get around.
“It takes some of the weight off my
knee and ankles,” Brooks says.
Drake notes the system’s Dynamic Fall
Protection software provides protec-
tion during standing, sitting, stair
and floor tasks alike. The therapist,
meanwhile, can keep both hands free
by using a wireless controller strapped
to his or her forearm.
In addition, the SafeGait Patient
Management Software allows
therapists to track patient progress
by exporting the data to the patient’s
health records and comparing it to
data from previous therapy sessions in
order to customize treatment plans.
Physical Therapist Nancy Buerman, in
the field for 35 years, says the SafeGait
360° is a welcome addition to the
tools available in Thompson’s Rehabili-
tation Services Department because
it takes away the concern regarding a
potential fall, not only for the patient
but for the therapist as well. “It gives
you the freedom to try more difficult
tasks, especially floor-to-stand and
resistance walking—something you
normally wouldn’t try with someone
who has poor balance,” she says.
To see a video about the SafeGait
N E W S A F E G A I T
3 6 0 ° B A L A N C E A N D
MO B I L I T Y T R A I N E R
H E L P S PAT I E N T S MA K E
G R E AT S T R I D E S
N EW T E C H AT T H OM P S O N A D VA N C E S P H Y S
SafeGait 360° requires a
physician referral. For more
information, call Thompson
| FALL 2016