The authors of a 2009 study were curious about data that showed that patients with Alzheimer’s disease who spent time in rockers demonstrated “significant improvements in depression, anxiety, and balance and a decrease in pain medication usage” wrote the authors. They hypothesized that a beneficial rise in blood pressure was the reason. Indeed, as the subjects rocked, and their blood pressures increased. The resultant “enhanced cerebral perfusion,” they believed, “may play a fundamental role in designing nursing interventions focused on improvement of symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease.” 6
Neurological Benefits and Rehabilitation
A study at the Baylor College of Medicine in 1992 found that vestibular rehabilitation therapy, such as rocking chair therapy, can help patients with vestibular dysfunction, such as vertigo and episodes of dizziness.
Researcher Dr. Greg Ator wrote, “Vestibular rehabilitation is an important treatment modality for patients with vestibular dysfunction who are not surgical candidates. An increasing proportion of our society, the elderly, are often prime candidates for vestibular rehabilitation therapy. It appears that patients with peripheral vertigo with classical symptoms, especially of an episodic variety will definitely benefit from a vestibular rehabilitation program but also patients with a vague disequilibrium and probable central etiology for this condition may also benefit from vestibular rehabilitation therapy.” 7
Safe Rockers for Healthcare Environments
Rocking chairs and gliders have proven therapeutic benefits, but many institutions and clinicians dismiss the idea of utilizing them because in the past, rockers have posed a fall risk to patients suffering from compromised balance and stability during ingress and egress from the chair.
The newest technology, however, negates the instability of traditional rocking chairs, making them as safe and stable as any stationary chair. This technology is available from LPA Medical and Optima Products. LPA Medical and Optima
Products make one thing: specialty chairs and accessories for hospital and nursing home settings. Lift chairs, recliners, positioning chairs, and of course rocker-gliders have been the focus of LPA Medical and Optima for more than a
Thera-Glide Safety Gliders are unique in that they are safe for any patient. A patented automatic locking system keeps the gliding motion locked until the user is safely seated, disengaging only when the weight of the patient is placed against the chair back. Similarly, the chair locks as soon as a resident or patient leans forward to exit, thus un-weighting the chair back. With fall risks eliminated, any institution can provide patients with a gliding chair that can meaningfully provide therapeutic benefits.
Choices are also important when selecting any piece of furniture, including chairs. Different settings have different needs when it comes to materials. A manufacturer should provide a selection of fabrics for various applications, as
well as a choice of frame materials. Thera-Glide chairs offer other beneficial features as well, including steel internal frames and gliding mechanisms for exceptional durability, a life-time warranty on the glide bearings, a broad array of styles–in a choice of metal or wooden frames–and dozens of healthcare grade fabrics for every setting. Thera-Gliders also feature height-adjustable seats in varying widths.
1 The Columbia Tribune, April 5, 2005; http://www.columbiatribune.com/
3 American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 1998: 13(6):296-
4 Geriatric Nursing, 2001:22(2):86-90
5 Aging Clinical and Experimental Research 2011: 23(4):279-87
6 Biological Research for Nursing 2009: 11(2):144-51
7 Neurologic Clinics, 1990:8:459-475