Some may consider rocking and gliding a luxury when it comes to wheelchairs. However, many do not know the health benefits it provides, especially when it comes to patients suffering from dementia.

Studies have proven that by rocking in a chair a few hours a day, patients requested less pain medications and their balance improved.  Maintaining balance is crucial for these patients.  Even a simple fall can cause serious health problems.

“There’s the stereotype of older people on a porch happily going back and forth in their rocking chairs,” says nurse researcher Nancy Watson. “It turns out that the activity really does bring some peace of mind to many folks.”

This gentle motion provides a soothing effect.  Nurses from the University of Rochester School of Nursing have reported that patients seem less anxious and overall happier when rocking frequently.  But how exactly does this help?

During rocking, blood pressure lowers and respiration slows down.  It also provides exercise due to the body weight shifting back and forth.  While traditional rocking may work for many people, it’s not for everyone.  For patients with Alzheimer’s, they can become disoriented due to the shifting motion.  How can that be prevented?  Gliding.

Gliding is similar to rocking except that it keeps patients consistently at eye level.  Smooth gliding provides a calming effect for individuals who are agitated, helping to reduce wandering in Alzheimer’s patients.  BRODA’s latest wheelchair model is the Auto-Locking Glider.  This chair is equipped with an auto-lock feature, meaning it automatically knows when a user sits down and stands up.  It locks in place when a user begins to stand in order to prevent falls.

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