User & Caregiver Focus
The Rifton Pacer Gait Trainer: So Much More Than a Walker
September 20, 2011
A versatile, customized Pacer gait trainer allows children – and adults – to improve mobility at their own pace.
Often parents of children with disabilities – and adults who have incurred serious injuries – seek out walkers to provide mobility and improve it through practice. While walkers have their place in rehabilitation, these very basic support devices offer very little in comparison to gait trainers – and even less in comparison to the Rifton Pacer gait trainer.
The Pacer is really so much more than a walker or standard gait trainer. Offered in five sizes from mini to XL adult size gait trainer, it’s a highly supportive, adjustable, versatile adaptive ambulation device that allows children and adults to improve their mobility at their own pace, according to their unique challenges and needs. The Pacer helps provide children and adults a greater quality of life, through health benefits, motor learning, and the opportunity to be upright and move independently.
Gait trainer customized to each client’s needs
One of the biggest features making the Pacer so unique is that it is fully customizable. It begins as a plain, prompt-free, basic unit, to which a variety of different supportive prompts can be added (refer to our guidelines for functional use of the Pacer gait trainer document), to meet a user’s individual needs. Unlike gait training with a standard walker, the Pacer’s supportive prompts enable active participation and promote valuable motor learning, strength gains, and mobility. As the child or adult gains skills, improves function and achieves greater independence, the prompts can be removed.
Because the Pacer is specifically designed to offer prompt reduction over time, through changing the angles of prompts or removing them altogether, it is particularly unique among gait trainers. And this unique capability gives the name “Pacer” a double meaning; it helps clients improve their walking pace through practice, while helping them develop, heal, and become more independent at their own pace.
Five sizes of gait trainers, in six fun colors
Our recent addition of two new sizes – mini and extra-large – allows us to help a broader range of children with disabilities.
The mini was introduced for early-intervention, for children from 9 – 18 months of age. We wanted to give children with disabilities the opportunity to begin walking at the same age as other children. The extra-large opens the possibility of use into adolescence and adulthood. It’s also useful for injured adults going through rehabilitation, like those recovering from spinal cord injuries (SCI) or traumatic brain injuries (TBI), providing them a more supportive device than a non-weight bearing walker, that allows them to practice their walking.
We’ve also made our small size pediatric gait trainer smaller, lighter and more portable. There are three great new Pacer colors, too – raspberry, purple and lime – in addition to the red, blue and champagne that we already carried.
Why the Pacer is better than gait training with a walker
- Prompts mount anywhere; no tools required
- Simple two-handed height adjustment in 1″ increments
- Innovative casters with separate swivel lock, brake, variable drag and one-way ratchet control
- Fits easily in car trunks and through standard door frames
- Easy rear access for transfers from Rifton SoloLift
- Users can face either way (posterior or anterior)
As a therapist, parent or user, what has been your experience using the Pacer gait trainer?