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Question: How hard is it to pull the wheelchair?
Answer: Most standard wheelchairs only add 1-2lbs of resistance depending on the size of the wheelchair. Even on thin carpet, patients are able to use Gait Buddy to pull the wheelchair with little to no extra effort or impediment of gait training. Most responses from patients and therapist have been, "Wow, I can feel that it is there, but it really isn't hard to advance the walker like I thought it might be!"
Discussion: Gait training doesn't always have to look the same. Change it up by adding some weight to the wheelchair for resistance training! This can help improve power, balance, and overall strength.
Question: Is Gait Buddy designed to go around corners?
Answer: No, we designed Gait Buddy for our low level patients. These patients typically do not ambulate significant distances or go around corners and turns. We typically see these types of patients ambulating down a straight hallway. We are seeing that Gait Buddy is able to do gradual turns, such as around a nursing cart, however, it is not designed to navigate sharp turns.
Question: Why does it only attach to one side? Doesn't this make the wheelchair turn into the patient's feet?
Answer: The clamps are specifically engineered to prevent too much rotation at the attachment site. This specialized engineering allows the wheelchair to stay securely behind the patient.
With the attachment only one one side, the therapist is able to stand on the opposite side and guard/assist their patient as needed and allows clear access to the patient in the event of a medical emergency.
Discussion: the clamps were also specifically designed to be attached/detached in < 5 seconds! We were determined to create a truly EASY-to-use solution!
Question: Is the patient able to take a normal step length without the chair hitting the back of their leg?
Answer: Yes, the device is adjustable in length depending on your patient's needs. Some may need a very immediate wheelchair follow while others would tolerate a larger margin. The empty space below standard wheelchairs allows for full push-off at terminal stance.
Wheelchairs should be properly fitted to the patient. At times, it may be beneficial to transfer the patient to a wider chair or a chair with better bearings prior to the initiation of gait training.
Discussion: the Gait Buddy may not be appropriate for ALL patients. It is important to use your clinical judgement. For example, patient's with a fixed flexed trunk posture, who can not be corrected for proper upright standing in the walker, would not be appropriate as their flexed position would cause the the back of their legs to hit the seat.
Many times our patients walk with a flexed posture but it can be corrected. Proper upright positioning is ideal and we can use the Gait Buddy to promote that.
Question: How much does the Gait Buddy weight?
Answer: The Gait Buddy weighs less than 1 lb! The clamps are made with a glass-filled nylon for 2 key benefits:
1. The device is extremely lightweight and can easily transport to patient's rooms / homes.
2. The device is more durable than regular plastic and it will not break if dropped! It's along for the long haul :)
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