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How I Funded My Alinker Walking Bike
3 March 2020
- First, we identified my goal to safely access the community and engage in social activities and to engage in exercise, supported by my husband and therapists.
- We looked at factors related to me as the AT user including when I was first diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis in the T8 and subsequently also diagnosed with MS. Also mentioned in this section was that a tricycle with pedals would not be suitable as I would not be able to pedal due to the weakness in my legs.
- We discussed and listed life stage outcomes such as, the Alinker will provide motivation to exercise, in turn strengthening lower limbs, providing cardiovascular fitness. It will give me a feeling of not being disabled and being positively involved in the community.
- My physio also completed a Functional Assessment, this where she outlines the difficulties I experience such as, my inability to walk distances, the falls risk, and my peripheral neuropathy, leg muscle spasms etc.
- The trial of the Alinker was completed with a detailed report of me using the bike around the shops and neighbourhood etc. It discussed how the equipment provided excellent strength building exercise with stability and allowed me to walk and rest as needed as my weight is supported by the seat.
- The assessment also outlined the frequency of use. We discussed that I would use the Alinker multiple times a week, mostly for short walks around the neighbourhood and going along with my husband when he walks the dogs.
- We also included the potential risks if AT is not provided in the assessment. As I am a falls risk, and cannot walk independently without AT, the Alinker would improve my exercise tolerance and therefore less social exclusion as it would improve my general confidence getting out into the community.
- We also provided case studies, with my physio outlining that as the Alinker is a relatively new form of AT there is limited research other than personal stories, however Peter Le Witt, the director of the Parkinson's programme at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan, is starting a trial that provides dozens of patients with Alinkers. He will be comparing their progress with patients who do other forms of exercise. Le Witt calls the Alinker "promising and invigorating" and says some participants have already purchased an Alinker. "If people have fun with this, it'll be motivating for them and they'll get conditioning".