An Aldergrove man has designed and built an exercise machine for the physically challenged that has proven successful in rehabilitating both elderly and seriously injured people.
Now Al Wolfe wants to take his “PhysioChoice” machine to a broader market.
Wolfe first built the machine for his mother, Dorothy, in 2001 when she was in her mid-90s.
“I wanted my mother to be able to continue being active,” said Wolfe. “She loved to be active in her garden and was finding it more difficult to do so because of the effects of aging and a stroke. The stroke had left her especially weak on one side.”
So Wolfe set to work, creating an exercise machine that would suit her needs. A machine that was easy to operate without any complicated switches, low-tech so that she wouldn’t get confused, with a comfortable chair that was easy to get in and out of.
“It was strictly manual at first but later I put a motor in it,” said Wolfe.
“Mom would power it herself for the first five minutes or so, then turn on the motor and let it move her arms and legs for another 20 minutes or so. That way every muscle gets a workout, while she just hung on — it took no effort.”
The machine engages muscles in both passive and active exercise, and both kinds of movement brings significant benefits. Muscles degenerate when they aren’t used.
Dorothy passed away in 2009 at the age of 103, but she was able to walk and keep active to the end of her days, thanks to the machine.
“She didn’t deteriorate as one might have expected her to,” said Wolfe. “Her doctor was impressed with her abilities for her age. He was often heard pointing her out to his other patients, saying, ‘This lady is 102 years old!'”
Wolfe has built a handful of the machines, and has testimonials from four users.
He assembles the machines in his little shop, and jobs out the specialty work such as the powder coating, electronics and welding.
“I basically cut and put them together,” said Wolfe.
“I also go to trade shows and hope to develop a market for the PhysioChoice machine. I’m semi-retired and do part-time work, and invest this money in developing a market for my machine.
“There is a great need for it, I just have to get well-known.”
Wolfe says he’s aiming to keep the price below $3,000 for the machine, which is about half the cost of a similar style machine built in Europe.
“I want to enable seniors to enjoy a better quality of life in their advanced years and to make the machine as accessible as possible. Accessibility means simple to use physically and mentally, as well as being as inexpensive as possible.”
For more information contact Wolfe at Wolfe Custom Craft Ltd., email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 604-857-2202.