"What does S3 mean?"
Safe, stable support.
"How much does an S3 Balance® unit cost?"
Purchasing at least 3 devices allows you to lease-to-own over 3 to 4 years which typically costs between $29 to $35/device/month (no dollar buyout). Purchasing 13 or more devices are discounted further depending on volume. Purchasing 2 or fewer devices costs $1,750.00 each (plus shipping) and all purchases include a full 5-year warranty and professional support. We accept credit cards with an additional 3.5% processing fee.
Remember that one fall averages $30,000 in health care costs (J Safety Res 2016). S3 has an unlimited ROI by reducing falls and worker injury by lowering staff strain and virtually eliminating multi-person transfers. Of course, S3 is available 24-7, will never get sick or file a worker's compensation claim.
"How does a facility implement S3 Balance®?"
"Approved" facilities may trial up to five devices at no cost (other than shipping, which runs $200-$300 each way) for up to 30 days. "Approved" means your facility has completed our Trial Application and Agreement, which confirm your commitment to integrating S 3 as part of current programs, covering shipping costs, the number of devices to trial and returning the devices in new condition within 7 days if you elect not to keep them.
Instructor certification is not needed, but staff should watch our 20-minute tutorial as well as review the Movement Library and Instructor Manual.
Classes can be done in perpetuity by having a resident lead or having residents follow along to our demo videos.
The S3 Balance® class format is simple: instructors choose 5 Movements for a 10-minute class. Research shows that, in general, standing exercises reduce fall risk and there is no optimum "protocol".
We recommend residents teach each other, as research shows that people may learn best when interacting with peers.
To bill Medicare in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or other appropriate facility, a physical therapist (PT), PT assistant (PTA), occupational therapist (OT) or OT assistant (OTA) should direct care and follow Medicare billing rules.
To request a free trial, please contact us (see footer).
"What if I don't have space for an S3 Balance® class?"
S3 Balance® has been implemented in facilities with virtually no extra space due to its stacking feature and small footprint. Checkout this video to watch Colin quickly and easily store S3 Balance® devices after class into a small corner space. If space is your chief concern, take a picture of the space where you usually conduct activity classes and send it to us. We will do our best to work within the limits of your space, which would include ideal number of devices and where to store them when not in use.
"Will implementing S3 Balance® increase liability?"
No - it will reduce liability by reducing fall risk and staff strain, as it is based on medical research and over 20 years of development and testing. In contrast, walkers pose exponentially greater liability compared to S3 Balance®, yet most facilities allow unattended daily use by residents.
Most facilities conduct seated activity, which actually increases long-term liability/early mortality because it fails to improve balance and functional mobility. Standing exercise doesn't just improve balance and reduce fall risk; it also has many other benefits. As long as users maintain "safe" hand position, S3 Balance® is extremely low risk because users are constantly oriented in space and have a powerful structure to keep them stable.
When it comes to transfers, S3 Balance® is stronger than any human being, as it has a working capacity of over 600 pounds. As a result, multi-person transfers are rare in facilities with S3, as it does most of the heavy lifting.
Conversely, walkers and chairs are not designed to be transfer/balance stability devices due to their tendency to tip/slip and low working capacity. On the other hand, S3 Balance® is engineered for stability, proven by its ability to reduce falls while keeping people safe.
"How does a facility recruit participants for S3 Balance® classes?"
At meal time, an administrator asks residents to participate in a "fun new balance class designed to reduce falls and improve balance". The announcement should include the number of people needed, days/times of classes and call for instructors. The more enthusiastic the announcement, the more participants!
Before and after an existing exercise class, the instructor encourages people to participate in a "fun new balance class designed to reduce falls and improve balance." To boost attendance, we recommend that the S3 Balance® class take place immediately after the existing class.
If your facility uses PTs/OTs, they should recruit current patients to participate as a supplement to their current treatment programs.
New and prospective residents should be encouraged to participate.
Ten minutes before the S3 Balance® class, make an announcement over the PA system.
"Does research support S3 Balance®?"
Yes. Extensive balance studies show that consistent performance of standing balance exercises (such as S3 Balance® Movements) can dramatically improve balance, strength, independence, walking speed and mood while reducing disability, pain, risk of falling, early mortality, depression and chronic disease. However, studies also indicate that benefits dissolve when people stop exercising. We have also conducted trials at several facilities that measured improvements in balance/fall risk that we would be happy to share.
"To what extent will S3 Balance® ensure success of implementation?"
Our past customers agree that S3 Balance® is committed to customer satisfaction. With purchase or lease, your facility will have an S3 Balance® account manager who will guide you through set up and implementation.
"Our floors are uneven. What if S3 Balance® rocks on the floor?"
The feet are designed to self adjust for slightly uneven floors. However, if the surface is very uneven, the device will wobble a little while in use. This does not detract from its function. In fact, if the device wobbles a little while in use, the exercises then become more difficult due to greater demand on somatosensory & musculoskeletal systems. In other words, the exercises would still be biomechanically "closed-chain" but have an "open-chain" component.
"What is the weight capacity of an S3 Balance® device?"
The device has an engineer's seal that shows a working capacity of over 1,000 pounds.
"How does S3 Balance® compare to other balance programs?"
- SAFETY. Maintaining participants' hands in the "safe" position during Movements gives peace of mind during standing exercise.
- ACCOMMODATION. S3 is effective for a wide range of abilities to facilitate dynamic standing exercise.
- COST. S3 is priced on the low end of its class but has more applications than other balance tools.
- SUPPORT. S3's stretching pegs and curved handlebars facilitate safety with exercise and transfers.
- REDUCED STAFF STRAIN. S3 has a 600-pound working capacity, so staff should let S3 do the heavy lifting.
- MOVEMENT EFFICIENCY. S3 Movements apply biomechanics to efficiently train balance systems in standing.
- VERSATILITY. S3 can be used for standing exercise, transfers and upper body exercise as a portable unit.
- MARKETABILITY. S3 should be actively marketed to family members, prospective customers and physicians to boost credibility.
"Who can instruct people on the S3 Balance® device?"
Anyone with a passion in improving health and willing to apply the information in the S3 Balance® 20-minute tutorial, Instructor's Manual and Movement Library could be an effective instructor.
Group classes can be done by a staff member or better yet, another resident as research shows that people tend to learn best from peers. Another option is for the exercise group to follow one of the S3 Balance® sample videos on our website's Partners page.
"Who are ideal users of S3 Balance®?"
Anyone who can stand should use S3. Take a look at our Impact page, which shows S3 helping those with impaired strength, balance and overall fitness (e.g., post-stroke, joint replacement, history of falls). Those with dementia are also ideal candidates, as S3 provides a safe environment that reduces anxiety with standing exercise.
"Does S3 Balance® have a warranty and is maintenance required?"
Warranty is 5 years parts and labor under normal usage. For maintenance, tighten all screws/bolts (including both wheels and all 4 feet) once per month.
"What are the dimensions of an S3 Balance® device, what does it weigh and how does it store when not in use?"
S3 is 41" wide, 33.4" deep and 40" tall, resulting in a 7.2 ft2 footprint. Devices stack like shopping carts for storage, in which each additional device adds 11-12" to the depth (i.e., 5 devices stacked together are 6 feet, 8" deep). Each device weighs 57 pounds and can be tilted onto its wheels with 20 pounds of force.
"Can other products be used with S3 Balance®?"
Yes. Wobble boards, half-domes and other products can increase the difficulty of S3 Balance® Movements. However, mastery of S3 Balance® Movements is recommended first.
"Can S3 Balance® be used at home?"
Yes. To ensure safety and efficiency, the Movement Library and S3 Instructor Manual (free with purchase) should be reviewed before use.
"Are there height limitations for participants who use S3 Balance®?"
S3's inclined handlebars can accommodate people between 4 feet, 8 inches and 6 feet, 8 inches tall. However, people outside this range have successfully used the device.
"Can S3 Balance® be used as a walker?"
No - it is designed to be used only as a stationary exercise/transfer device. The opposite also applies: a walker should never be used as an exercise/transfer device for liability/safety reasons.
"Is S3 Balance® difficult to assemble?"
No. The S3 device is shipped in 5 pieces: base, upright, 2 handlebars, front handlebar and 12 screws. Using an electric screwdriver with hexagonal head, it typically takes 1 person about 5 minutes to assemble or disassemble 1 device.
S3 Balance® Assembly Tips and Tricks
If you have difficulty with assembly, try loosely inserting one screw in the lowest section of each pair of screw holes and working your way up. Finish by firmly tightening screws.
Applying a hard wax, such as a paste wax, to your screw threads makes them much easier to turn when screwing them in.
Tighten all screws/bolts (including both wheels, all 4 feet) once per month.