News & Media

One Step at a Time

June 06, 2023

At HPHA our therapies programing provides patients with the rehabilitative tools to reach their best potential for independent living as a stroke survivor. Patients work with Physiotherapy, Speech Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy and Social Work to create a patient-centered care plan that meets their needs and works towards their goals.

Recently, our Physiotherapy program was honoured to receive a SCIFIT Step One recumbent stepper for our rehabilitation gym at our Stratford General Hospital site. This piece of equipment was purchased by the Stratford General Hospital Foundation.

The SCIFIT Step One provides a combination of strength training and aerobic training. Stroke patients often have impaired leg and arm function, reduced functional aerobic capacity, reduced activity tolerance and increased risk of falls. The physical challenges associated with stroke can contribute to their de-conditioned state while admitted to hospital. Combining strength and aerobic exercise is the best opportunity for rehabilitation, however many forms of this combination of exercise can be very strenuous and therefore limits participation.

The SCIFIT Step One is a safe and effective form of bilateral upper and lower extremity training that can supplement the traditional stroke rehab programming to achieve improved outcomes. Patients can even participate in training with wheelchair accommodations.

We should also note that our Clinton Public Hospital site was also excited to receive the same SCIFIT Step One with funding received from the Royal Canadian Legion!

Since implementing the SCIFIT Step One, we have had very positive and encouraging feedback from patients at both sites who enjoy using the machines. The Step One offers our patients an opportunity to exercise somewhat independently and to challenge themselves as they feel they are able. “I am able to walk but my legs need some strengthening," said Raye, a stroke patient.  "This equipment helps me strengthen my legs with the assistance of my arms, which remain strong."

With this equipment the physiotherapy team is able to maximize rehabilitation time and provide programming that aligns with the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations for aerobic training! We are grateful for these generous donations that help patients meet their rehabilitation goals!

patient using a recumbent stepper 

Raye using the SCIFIT Step One!