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U-Step Walker


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#1 JuggernautTCW

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:17 PM

This question for my mom with 10 years of PD.
She has been looking for a good mobility booster for a long time and she came across this product called “U-Step Walker” and was wondering if it could alleviate some of her daily mobility and stability related risks and inconveniences.

The u-step walker is a walker on wheels with a bicycle-like brake system for additional control. The unique thing about this walker is the brake system – it is a reverse brake where the wheels can rotate freely only when pressure is applied to the brake handles, and the wheels are in the immobile state when no pressure is applied to the brakes.

Here is the URL to the website with pictures and user guide - http://www.ustep.com/walker.htm

A little background on my mom’s condition – she relies on momentum to keep her moving when she walks, and when she does stop, it is difficult for her to get moving again. Her hands are constantly in the gripping state (as if she’s holding fists at all times) and it is extremely difficult for her to open her palms to perform tasks that involve using her fingers.

She has given the U-Step walker some serious thoughts as it could potentially lift some burden off her body when she is in motion and trying to balance at the same time; but on the flip side, her hand’s condition could prevent her from releasing the reverse brake system on the U-step walker, which poses a different type of risk especially when she’s traversing a hilly terrain (imagine going downhill and not being to let go of the reverse-brake).

In your expert opinion – would you recommend this walker to her?

#2 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 07:18 PM

Dear Friend,
The U-Step walker was designed by a gentleman whose mother had PD; he designed it to overcome the balance and gait problems specific to PD, such as falling , retropulsion (falling backwards) and festination (short, quick steps).

However, she needs to be evaluated by a physical therapist in order to determine whether this is safe and effective for her. I am not able to provide such evaluation; she should be seen and examined personally. I hope the information I provided earlier will be of benefit to you.

Another possible resource is an additional NPF Center of Excellence:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
asilver2@bidmc.harvard.edu
(617) 667-9885

http://www.bidmc.org...tDisorders.aspx
Occupational and Physical Therapy
http://www.bidmc.org...calTherapy.aspx

Rehabilitation Services; Outpatient Physical & Occupational Therapy
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
East Campus; Shapiro Building, 2nd Floor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston , MA 02215
617-667-4328
617-667-9204 (fax)

I hope this is helpful for you and your mother.
Best regards,

Kathrynne Holden, MS

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