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Rifton Tram Keeps Memory Care Residents Moving

Foundation news | Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Residents of RiverView Memory Care are finding ways to increase mobility thanks to a Rifton tram purchased with a grant through the RiverView Foundation.

“The tram is a wonderful piece of equipment that is used for residents in need of assistance with lifts, transfers, and ambulation,’’ shared Peggy Wangen, director of Nursing.

Some residents, like R. Ronald (pictured at right), like to use the tram for walking.

“This is a key piece of equipment we are fortunate to have as we continue to provide rehabilitation and exercise to enhance the quality and function of our residents’ lives,’’ Wangen stated. “We work with goals to prevent contractures, prevent falls, and increase strength and endurance of those using the equipment.’’

Memory Care team members also benefit from the tram, as it eliminates lifting by caregivers, reducing the risk of back strain and injury. With a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds, battery power for up to 70 lifts per charge, a built-in scale, and the need for just one team member to operate it (although RiverView always uses two team members for safety), the tram has become a valuable, safe way to get residents up and active.

RiverView’s Physical Therapy Team also uses the tram for therapy sessions, shared Caitlyn Michno, DPT, Physical/Occupational Therapy coordinator. Gait training and long-term maintenance programming benefit residents who would still like to walk but cannot due to weakness or pain.

“The tram truly adds quality to the lives of those we serve,’’ Wangen concluded.

Pictured above: With the help of Liliane Ngwe, PTA, (far left) and Ramona Kaiser, CNA, RiverView Memory Care resident R. Ronald uses the tram for walking.