A newly developed device looks like it could make a big impact on how stroke victims relearn how to walk. The device is lightweight, motorless, and attaches directly to an ankle support device or ankle foot orthosis. The device was developed at Tohoku University and is designed to help provide stability while walking and help those who have lost strength and coordination regain it with guided, supported movements.
The device works by the assistance of an elliptical shaped cam that is attached to the ankle. This cam generates power as the downward motion of a footfall presses into a spring and then helps to force the foot–and the rest of the leg–back up in a walking motion. This is one of the motions that those who have suffered from a severe stroke struggle with, and the device helps the body to relearn the motion without a costly motorized system or extensive out of the house therapy. It’s small and compact and has the potential to help thousands of people regain full use of their legs and become more mobile, even if they have suffered from a major stroke.
The Tohoku University team published their findings in a recent edition of the medical journal, Gait & Posture. Hopefully, this device is available for use to the general public in the near future.
Strokes are one of the more common types of cardiovascular maladies that the elderly face. Most strokes are not major in nature, but many are. A stroke can have devastating results on a person, and can even result in permanent disability. If a stroke is treated within the first two hours after it begins, a lot of these negative health issues can be minimized, but strokes are not always treated in such a timely manner. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know that something is happening that requires immediate attention and do not get the help that they need when they need it.
This is one of the reasons why having a knowledgeable and skilled caregiver team on your side is helpful. Even if you are using a non-medical caregiver, like what we offer, knowing that the person helping your older loved one recognizes the signs of a stroke (and other sudden medical occurrences) and knows what to do to ensure quick medical attention is important. This can give you peace of mind that your loved one is in good hands even if a medical emergency never occurs. After all, avoiding health issues altogether is far better than having to treat them after the fact.
If you’d like to learn more about how in-home care can help provide an extra level of preventative care to your family’s everyday life, let us know. We offer free consultations and we’d love to talk about what we do and how it might benefit your family. Hopefully, a stroke is not something that you’ll ever have to worry about. But if it does happen, you want to be assured that everything is being done that can be done to help your loved one have the best possible health outcome.