Participants will learn about patent pending tool called Activator Poles developed by a Canadian OT and now used internationally to facilitate active living, independence, fall prevention and improved functional status. Participants will gain an understanding of this evidence based tool that is based on the concept of Nordic walking in which there are over 235 independent studies listed on PubMed describing the benefits including: improved balance, strength, mobility and independence in ADLs.
The course will explain the development of the Activator Poles and associated technique that is the focus of 8 studies currently underway in Canada and the UK. Over the 12 years of implementation, there has been a steady shift in practice to the use of Activator Poles as an effective alternative to canes and to delay or reduce the use of walkers. The prescription of walking poles is now considered part of best practices in many centres across Canada. The pros and cons of traditional mobility devices will be explained as well as the contraindications for the use of walking poles. The use of walking poles as a motivating tool for seated and standing exercise for fall prevention programs will be also be described.
• Learn 10 researched benefits of walking poles.
• Be able to perform the four steps of the Activator technique designed for balance and stability.
• Understand the differences between walking poles versus canes, crutches and walkers.
• Learn seven conditions which are contraindicated for walking poles.
• Describe five guidelines for using walking poles in fall prevention programs.
• The webinar will provide information about a new therapy/tool to enable clients to stay active and independent within their community.
• The use of walking poles could be included in fall prevention programs to reduce falls to enable clients to remain at home longer.
• The use of walking poles is evidence-based therapy for improved mental health and well-being.
• Walking poles facilitate participation in an active leisure activity and positive self-image by providing clients with an activity they can engage in the community along with family members such as spouses and children despite his/her decline in function.
Mandy Shintani has practised as an occupational therapist for 30 years and has her Master’s Degree in Gerontology. She is an international conference speaker and recently presented at the International 200 years of Parkinson’s Disease Conference Australia, the National Fall Prevention conference in Toronto and a poster presentation at the UK ACPIN Neuro conference.
Twelve years ago, she developed the Activator Poles (patent pending) and technique specifically for rehabilitation. The Poles are prescribed extensively as part of best practices for mobility and active living and are the focus of eight current studies in fall prevention, dementia, posture and mobility. About 3,500 therapists and instructors in Canada have completed the course she developed on the use of Nordic walking poles for fitness and rehabilitation. She has been featured numerous times in national media in Canada and was a finalist in the prestigious YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.