I work in long term care and we don’t have enough time to do everything we would like to do as it is. How could the NeuroGym® equipment make a difference to my workplace?

According to Nursing Home magazine, two of the top 3 problems plaguing the North American long term care industry are employee morale and employee turnover.

A critical part of the job for front line workers is transferring residents. This is a challenge because residents are afraid to try to move themselves, and the physical work required to move them can be daunting and time consuming. Due to their immobility, residents are understandably depressed because they have lost the ability to move and the dignity that goes with that. It is becoming more difficult for front line workers to work in an environment where their residents only get worse.

The industry is addressing the symptomatic human resource issue rather than address a much more basic problem – resident immobility. Up until now addressing the mobility problem has been impossible because equipment that provides safe mobility training did not exist or was not practical. NeuroGym Technologies’ safer and more effective mobility training equipment will actually lighten employees’ loads as residents become more mobile.

Why do you say that NeuroGym® Technologies is leading a paradigm shift in elder care?

The NeuroGym line of mobility training devices was developed to allow greater access to safe and effective movement and Falls Prevention training. We recognized that much of the decline in motor abilities in Seniors is due to disuse and lack of effective exercise programs. While sitting in a circle doing chair exercises may once have been considered exercise, it is now widely known that this very light intensity exercise does little to maintain and improve critical motor skills important for functional independence and safe walking. NeuroGym Technologies is helping elder care facilities be on the leading edge of this paradigm shift from immobility to mobility.

Is there any financial incentive to putting more effort into improving the functional independence of our residents?

Governments in both Canada and the US are moving from subsidizing immobility to paying for mobility. They now realize that it is much more expensive to subsidize immobility in elder care than to pay for improving mobility in those who cannot move, and as important, preventing decline in mobility for those who can move. As a result, governments on both sides of the border are implementing programs that pay for improvements in resident mobility. Significant improvements in mobility can be realized through specific mobility training with the appropriate equipment and methodology.

The cost of immobility results from both increased direct health care costs, and the costs associated with employee turnover and low morale. In long term care, one bed sore costs about $70,000 US. This amount is small compared to the cost of the many medical conditions that are worsened by immobility, including depression due to decreasing independence in self care.

We have lifts in our facility – why would we need mobility training equipment?

While lifts are a necessity in nursing or assisted living facilities, if they are overused they are simply adding to the problem of immobility. If an individual is lifted in and out of bed, their ability to ever do this again independently is extremely limited. In the past, there was little equipment that could easily help them regain the ability to stand and transfer independently, particularly where ‘no lift’ policies were invoked. The NeuroGym Sit-to-Stand Trainer, for example, can be used at the bedside to regain this vital skill.

We have seen the difference this type of mobility training equipment has made in both the lives of seniors and their caregivers. Within 4-6 weeks (three times per week) of sit-to-stand training on our Sit-to-Stand machine, seniors begin to see dramatic increases in lower extremity strength and may regain the ability to transfer themselves. We have seen individuals improve transfers enough to toilette themselves again. At very least they gain enough strength to make the transfer much easier for the caregiver. As seniors begin to become more active, other things improve such as bed sores, overall health and most importantly mental attitude – they see they are improving!