Anyone who has gone through any sort of physical therapy knows just how grueling it is. It can be discouraging, frustrating, and even painful, making it, at times, difficult to stay motivated through long sessions repeated month after month, sometimes even year after year. All of this is multiplied when the patient is a child. How do you keep children engaged, motivated, and encouraged throughout these demanding physical therapy sessions? The Freddie Farmer Physiotherapy Centre seems to have it figured out.
Focusing all of their treatment on children aged 3-16 with a variety of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and brain injuries, the Freddie Farmer Physiotherapy Centre strives to provide a fun, child-friendly, home-away-from-home environment while providing unique intensive physiotherapy programs. Using a variety of equipment, including two Universal Exercise Units, a LokoStation and LokoHelp, TheraSuits, iJoy Ride Horse riding machine, Tomcat trikes, Total Gym Power Tower, Kaye Scoot-About, and LiteGait mobile hoist, among others, Freddie Farmer is able to take pediatric physical therapy to a whole new level.
One piece of equipment in particular that the Freddie Farmer Physiotherapy Centre uses to engage patients, while still providing intensive therapy, is the LokoHelp. The LokoHelp is an electromechanical gait trainer that works with children in an upright position, enabling the children to walk with a proper gait pattern. Doing the work of two therapists, the LokoHelp holds each of the child’s legs and ensures support and stability, while enforcing correct walking form. It builds up the leg muscles required for walking and encourages a more effective application of therapy in all phases of gait training. Because the LokoHelp guides the patients’ feet, it allows therapists to be at eye-level with the children. Eye contact and eye-level communication is very effective in keeping children engaged and motivated during their therapy sessions.
Freddie Farmer has also introduced fun challenges on the LokoHelp to keep the children motivated; nothing like a little friendly competition to make what normally is grueling physical therapy a little more enjoyable for these kids. The therapists have also purchased iPads that allow the patients to play games or watch their favorite shows while they are using the LokoHelp, providing a nice distraction from the difficult therapy. The physical therapists at Freddie Farmer are using the LokoHelp to not only change these children’s lives, but to also make sure they’re having as much fun as possible while receiving treatment.
The LokoHelp gives therapists and patients an unmatched physiotherapy experience. However, the Freddie Farmer Foundation in a non-profit organization and a registered charity. Because of this, they rely almost solely on donations from generous supporters. The Freddie Farmer Foundation needs to raise £55,000 (nearly $72,000) by the end of this year to keep their LokoHelp. More than 90% of patients at Freddie Farmer benefit from the LokoHelp; it really is a necessity. If you have the means, please consider donating to the Freddie Farmer Foundation here.