May 26, 2015
The Rifton TRAM is a great addition to our skilled rehabilitation department, especially for those patients with neurological deficits. One therapist can safely assist a patient in the TRAM through a functional mobility progression starting with sitting balance on the edge of the bed, standing tolerance, posture and then gait normalization. In the past, many of these therapeutic activities needed...
Tips & Advice
Six Tips for Writing a Strong Letter of Medical Necessity
All of us have struggled one time or another while trying to compose an effective letter of medical necessity for a piece of adaptive equipment. We have all tried to figure out better strategies with our colleagues at work, at continuing education conferences and through social media sites. Below are a few considerations I’ve found helpful.
Make it Unique
First, make sure the letter is...
Top 6 Features of the HTS
Since we launched the Hygiene and Toileting System (HTS) almost two years ago we’ve received an outpouring of success stories in the “first time toileting” category. In an informal survey we asked therapists and parents which features made the biggest difference for them. Here’s the top six:
The load-bearing and flip-away footboard. “I have one child who uses the...
Evidence Based Practice
Gait training is a fundamental intervention in pediatric rehabilitation. At present, over-ground assistive devices and treadmills dominate the field, but we’re now seeing emerging robotic technologies that offer solutions to normalize and enhance the quality of gait mainly through the application of motor learning principles and the use of dynamic weight-bearing systems. We need to learn more about...
A Rifton Pacer Testimonial
I purchased my Rifton Pacer in the fall of 2014 and it’s been one of the best purchases I ever made. I’d like to tell you about it. But I need to go back to December 2010 when my health problems began. First there was poor vision and drooping on one side of my face. Balance and speech difficulties came next. The symptoms progressively worsened until I was left with a paralyzed face and unable...
Advocacy as Art
If you look up ‘Medicaid Waiver’ on the internet, you’ll find the four primary types available to states across the nation. You’ll also find myriad links and sites available to aid the application process, and the collateral industry that has emerged to facilitate these programs. If you’re like me, you’ll soon be lost.
For parents of adult children with developmental...
Evidence Based Practice
Rifton TRAM and Safe Patient Handling
Gerard Dybel PT, ScD, GCS, is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His research interests include ergonomics, injury prevention in health care workers and the implementation of no-lift technology by physical therapists practicing in rehabilitation departments. He recently conducted a pilot study on safe patient handling (SPH) to evaluate...
A Quiet Giant Among Us
For some people, when they speak, we stop to listen whether we intended to or not. There is a power behind their words that comes from a lifetime of doing, of quietly practicing the values they speak of. Such a person is Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, and a giant among advocates for people with disabilities.
This year Vanier was honored with the Templeton Prize, and on March 11 he delivered an...
Great Strides with the Rifton TRAM
A few years ago we welcomed a non-traditional student—we’ll call him Jay—at Lincoln Developmental Center (LDC) where we work. Most of our students have had a development disorder since birth; most are undersized and fit well into traditional equipment, but Jay sustained a traumatic brain injury at the age of 14 and arrived at LDC at the age of 17, fully grown, with limited positioning...
Community Action at its Finest
The receding snow banks are creating inviting sidewalks, and which kid’s first response is not “where’s my bike?” Children with physical disabilities want to ride just as much as any child, and they should. Sadly, adaptive trikes are far too rarely covered by Medicaid or insurance, even with a strong case for the therapeutic benefits of cycling.
Thankfully, there is a growing...