Tips & Advice

Guidelines for Functional Use of the Pacer Gait Trainer Part I

October 07, 2019 by Elena Noble, MPT
girl using Rifton Pacer

The Pacer gait trainer is a walking device used across pediatric settings and adult rehabilitation settings to support individuals with disabilities in upright postures and ambulatory activities. With the appropriate supports in the gait trainer, independent mobility becomes a possibility. Each Pacer accessory (or prompt) adjusts to accommodate any positioning need or is otherwise easily removed to...

PT/OT Improving Rehabilitation Prospects with the E-Pacer September 10, 2019 by Linda Rusiecki PT, DPT, CBIS
Individuals hospitalized due to stroke or brain injury have one over-arching goal: to return home and into the community again. Unfortunately, many individuals with lasting debility require placement in long-term care or assisted living instead. This isolation and loss of independence can be devastating to patients and families. Because independent walking is a primary predictor of whether a patient...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Stretching and Resistance Exercise in Children with CP August 12, 2019 by Elena Noble, MPT
Improved joint range of motion (ROM) and strength certainly contribute to better functional outcomes in children with cerebral palsy (CP), but is stretching and progressive resistance exercise an adequate intervention to achieve the end? Previous research shows that children with CP have shorter hamstring muscles than their peers. A short or spastic hamstring muscle contributes to gait deviations, and...
Tips & Advice Pacer Prompt Reduction July 16, 2019 by Lori Potts, PT
See also: Part 2: Prompt Reduction Strategies. Using the Rifton Pacer’s full range of adjustment possibilities will help you meet goals for mobility and activity. Individuals who cannot bear weight fully through their lower extremities, or need prompting for alignment need appropriately positioned prompts and supports. Motor skills acquisition and strength building are best achieved when an...
Stories May I Have This Next Dance? June 24, 2019 by Jeoan Pierre, Special Education Teacher
As a special ed teacher who has worked with students with a variety of physical challenges, I have a particular appreciation for Rifton Equipment. There’s a distinct excitement in seeing how the right equipment can change a child’s life. A piece of equipment could help someone be a runner, walk down the aisle to receive a diploma, or, in the case of one of my students, be an independent...
Tips & Advice What To Do About Gait Trainer Seat Sitters June 10, 2019 by Elena Noble, MPT
Do you work with children whose hips won’t stay forward during gait training? Or those kids who sit on the seat of a gait trainer when you want them upright? Whether from hypotonia or decreased core stabilization, here is a great idea to help cue those hips forward in the Rifton gait trainer. 1. Position the handholds of the Rifton Pacer upside down and towards the back of the top bar. 2. After...
Stories The Compass Chair: A Classroom Seating Option for the Child with Autism May 21, 2019 by Belinda Horning, BS, Ed.
It’s an ongoing discussion, and one that anyone involved in some way with students with autism are familiar with. How do I get my students to concentrate so that they can learn? Can they ever sit still enough at a desk to learn the basics of reading, writing and math? Can I expect my student with autism to sit and attend in class in the same way I expect it of my regular education students? If there...
News Unlikely Funding Source for Adaptive Equipment in Ohio May 14, 2019 by Elena Noble, MPT
Employer work-place injury within schools may sound unlikely, but for those health professionals routinely assisting students with disabilities in school, it is not uncommon. In fact, the injury rate of health professionals engaging in lifts, transfers and re-positioning of patients ranks equally with those working in heavy construction settings.1,2 For this reason, in June of 2018, when the Ohio Bureau of...
Stories Jean Vanier, 1928 – 2019 May 09, 2019 by Carmen Hinkey
As the world mourns the passing of Jean Vanier and we consider his message, I find myself acknowledging that what his L’Arche communities provide is something each of us is actually capable of providing, though few of us do. Indeed, societies have done a horrible job welcoming people with disabilities – intellectual or physical. Our ableist conditioning prevents us from embracing what Jean...
PT/OT Useful Tips for Writing a Letter of Educational Necessity for Adaptive Equipment April 22, 2019 by Sue Cecere PT, MHS
As a school based practitioner, I understand the challenges and frustrations of acquiring adaptive equipment for students that will help bridge the gap between their capacity and performance. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) defines capacity as the student’s abilities in a situation apart from real life, such as during an evaluation in a quiet room with no...
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