Parker County Today November 2017 - Page 84

our business: THE SUPER CANE Don Newton and Gary Overcash — Lean On Me By MISTY BROWNING The Super Cane Promises To Change Lives of Countless Seniors With Balance Issues, But That’s Only the Beginning F or every great invention, all it takes is a stroke of genius, mixed with some tenacity and the sheer will to create something that will change lives. 82 Don Newton’s stroke of genius came after 17 years of working as a physical therapist. The Hardin-Simmons alumnus, who received his doctorate in physical therapy at the acclaimed university, has always seen the need to help seniors with fall prevention.  “Each home health company I’ve worked for has implemented a fall prevention program, and one of the things we do is a detailed assessment of the vestibular function, hand and eye coordination, stuff like that,” explained Newton. “Some of those people that I worked with, it didn’t matter what I did with them, they contin- ued to fall.” Newton realized that part of the problem was that they were either not using their assistance device, or they weren’t using their reacher. He explained that people with problems with their vestibular function, more commonly known as inner ear, have issues stopping their bodies when they lean. When people who have the disorder lean forward, they have a tendency to keep going forward. If they are leaning backwards, they have a tendency to fall backwards. Newton had the idea to make a cane that would stand alone so that no one would have to lean to pick it up. Adding a reacher to the cane is