Product Highlight: WhisperGLIDE® Swings
by George Knuteson,
Founder & Creator of WhisperGLIDE® Swings
Almost everyone has vivid memories of swinging. Just thinking about it makes one smile. It is like rolling back the clock. Some of us remember swinging side by side with family or friends. Some of us enjoyed the soothing rhythm and some the thrill. Often, as we age, we lose the opportunities to share or even have these types of experiences. Stories of loneliness, boredom, and isolation among the elderly are common, especially for the wheelchair dependent and those who are living with dementia. They often have fewer opportunities to experience true community. My experiences and observations of those in healthcare facilities who live with dementia, brain injury, or other special needs prompted me to develop a WhisperGLIDE® wheelchair accessible swing 20+ years ago. This is a swing that can encourage a sense of camaraderie and belonging. This swing accommodates both ambulatory individuals and those who use wheelchairs.
Research has shown that loneliness and boredom can contribute to the emotional pain among the elderly. Being confined to a wheel chair can cause the situation to be more acute. Research has also shown that rocking can literally ease away anxiety and depression. The swing was designed to provide an opportunity for individuals in wheelchairs to experience this soothing movement. It also creates an opportunity to share time doing something with family and loved ones that doesn’t require talking. Going to see Grandma or Grandpa is much different when there is a fun, satisfying experience to be shared. Families report to us often how much easier it is to spend quality time together when swinging--relaxing, smiling, and laughing-- than it is when just sitting in a room visiting.
The swing provides an environment for socialization among residents, families, and staff. The stories we hear are many, heartwarming, and varied.
Here is a sampling:
“Non-verbal residents will light up and even start singing with the swinging motion.”
Emily Adkins, CTRS
Heather Hill Special Care Center – Chardon, Ohio
“When staff senses agitation...we immediately begin rocking...It takes about 30 seconds to restore tranquility.”
Shirley Connor, Recreation Coordinator
MN Veterans Home
“It warms my heart when I see multiple generations of a family on a swing with one of our residents. Everyone has a smile...Young and old can safely enjoy the swings as they enjoy each other's company.”
Pat J. Vincent, CEO
Three Links Care Center
“The WhisperGLIDE swing is an outstanding mechanism for providing residents with cognitive, physical, and psychosocial opportunities for therapeutic wellness.”
Carly Hellen, OTR/L
Former Director of Alzheimer's Care, The Wealshire, Lincolnshire,IL
Former Nursing Home Services Director, Rush Alzheimer's Center, Chicago, Illinois
“The WhisperGLIDE assists by both lowering blood pressure and anxiety and also in the psychosocial, spiritual, and environmental areas. The swing improves clinical outcomes and the quality of life of our residents.”
NADONA's Master Certification Trainer
WhisperGLIDE swinging is an intergenerational, social, and therapeutic movement experience.
It has been so rewarding to develop a product that touches the lives of thousands.