Camarie is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. She reached out to us recently to tell us about how the LifeGlider isn’t just helping her stay upright safely. It’s also enabling the hands-free movement she needs to launch her career as an occupational therapist.
How did you hear about the LifeGlider?
I found it while searching online for the right mobility aid for myself to use in my fieldwork. I’m an OT master’s student with bilateral leg spasticity and balance issues. With fieldwork, I’ll be in a clinic working with patients, and I needed something that would allow me to be hands-free while working with my patients.
Are your patients using the LifeGlider, too?
No, my LifeGlider is my personal mobility aid, but I hope to use it with patients in the future.
Where are you attending school?
I’m a student at the University of Pittsburgh. We are ranked 3rd in the US for our OT program.
Do you consider the LifeGlider a rehab device, mobility aid, or both?
For me, it’s my mobility aid. My condition is neurodegenerative, so it’s not a rehab device for me.
How has it helped you in your daily life?
My LifeGlider has been really helpful in allowing me to do things without thinking about my walking. Usually, I’m constantly looking at my feet as I walk and trying to maintain a good gait pattern. With the LifeGlider, I’m able to look straight ahead as I walk and focus on my tasks rather than my legs.
“Occupational therapy is all about helping people do what they love, so OT and the LifeGlider are a great fit.”
It’s worked well in my personal life for home tasks like cooking Thanksgiving dinner and wrapping presents. At school/work, it’s worked well to let me complete labs and interact with patients while giving them 100% of my attention because I’m not worried about falling. It’s also reduced a lot of lower back pain for me, because it doesn’t encourage me to lean forward the way a rollator or walker would.
What do you like the most about the LifeGlider?
I like that it’s one of the only hands-free mobility devices on the market. Being a future occupational therapist with a disability, I need my hands free to do my job. The fact that it folds easily and is lightweight means I can lift it into the trunk of a car or carry it up a short set of stairs independently.
How does the LifeGlider compare with other devices you’ve used before?
I was using a forearm crutch on one side before, but I knew I needed more support. I considered a rollator (a 4-wheeled rolling walker), but I knew that wasn’t going to work well for me. It was only going to encourage the forward leaning that already causes me back pain. In clinics and classrooms there often isn’t a lot of space, so I needed something compact. The LifeGlider is compact, encourages me to stand up straight and lets me have both hands free.
How do you think the LifeGlider can help your patients in the future?
The LifeGlider can be a great tool for fall prevention and encouraging mobility. I know in the future it will be a powerful tool to help my patients do the life activities that mean so much to them. Occupational therapy is all about helping people do what they love, so OT and the LifeGlider are a great fit.
What do you most want people like you, who could benefit from the LifeGlider, to know about it?
It’s convenient and comfortable. It folds easily and is lightweight enough that I can lift it into any car trunk without an issue. It fits through most standard doorways and does well on flat paved surfaces out in the community. I’ve used mine to go get a cup of coffee or pick up a pizza from the place up the street. Like any new mobility aid, it takes a little practice, but after a few days, it’s second nature.
We couldn’t be more excited for Camarie as she completes her Master’s program, launches an exciting career and continues helping people live more fulfilling, independent lives!
Want to learn more about the LifeGlider? Visit this page. Contact us if you don’t find the answer. We’re always eager to answer your questions and help you explore whether it might be right for you.