A new mobility lift is helping physical therapy patients at Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre.
Funded by Lacombe Health Trust, the LiteGait raises wheelchair patients to a full standing position to allow staff to keep them safely and comfortably suspended over a treadmill, with control over the weight-bearing load on the joints.
The equipment improves the weight-bearing ability, posture and balance of patients.
For individuals like Jason Lunn, the equipment has had a remarkable impact on his life, and has enabled him to practise walking.
“When you’re in a chair every day, if you don’t get out of that position, your bone density, your blood pressure and your circulation can be affected,” said Lunn, who is a quadriplegic.
“The ability to feel an upright weight-bearing sensation has been amazing. And to actually be able to do exercise — while you’re being supported to the point where you don’t have to have three people there to do it safely — feels incredible.”
Funding equipment like this is about providing the best possible care in the community, said Jim Dixon Jr., board chair for the Lacombe Health Trust.
“We are proud to be able to make it possible for the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre to provide the community with better health-care outcomes.
“This new equipment will have a profound impact on patients in long-term care, people living with multiple sclerosis, and those recovering from spinal cord injuries or significant fractures,” Dixon said.