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Life Care Center of Elkhorn
Dr. Cheri Prince, Director of Rehab

Omaha, NE

“At Lifecare of Elkhorn, we have an inter-disciplinary program designed to meet the needs of folks that have Parkinson’s disease on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. As part of the program we utilize the Biodex FreeStep SAS.

The FreeStep is a supported ambulation system, so it’s a harness system. It provides total assistance, so if you have someone lose their balance, they won’t fall. It allows the patient to feel like they can move very freely. They feel a lot safer in it than with the therapist holding on to them.

Because there is no need to support the patient, the therapist can step away and evaluate the patient’s movement, give better cues on how to move, provide resistance and do other manual techniques that you need to do without helping them actually stand up.

And the great thing is that you can also work on or over different pieces of equipment in the gym. Most folks with Parkinson’s don’t feel comfortable walking on the treadmill unless they have a harness system or some sort of support because of their balance issues. Patients are obviously very fearful of falling. A lot of folks with Parkinson’s fall already so when you ask them to do things that are going to put them at risk of falling, they get very nervous. The FreeStep provides that support for them and allows us to be able to work on treadmill walking with our Parkinson’s patients. They know they’re safe and won’t fall, giving them the confidence to work a lot harder.”


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