The Big Blog Backlog – Part Four: REHACARE 2010

Rehacare flagsToday it’s the penultimate part of the Big Blog Backlog and this time we’re off on our travels to Düsseldorf, Germany. No, we’re not going on holiday (sadly), but Guy Harris, founder of www.DisabledGear.com, kindly agreed to report back on his trip to REHACARE 2010 held on 6th – 9th October.
 

REHACARE is an annual international showcase of products relating to independent living and health care, all under one roof.
From mobility, communication and leisure to physiotherapy, medical care and nutrition, whatever you’re looking for you’re likely to find something of interest.

I’ve only been to REHACARE the once, back in 2009, so when I heard that Guy was planning to go, I jumped at the chance of getting him to blog his visit. So big thanks to Guy (and of course twitter for making this possible)!

Team EbD x

PS. I’m particularly excited to hear about the Rollitex jeans designed for wheelchair users, so if you’ve got a pair or two we’d love to hear what you think of them here on Enabled by Design. Thank you! : )

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REHACARE 2010
 

REHACARE logoI went to the REHACARE Exhibition in Düsseldorf. It was my
second time, having gone last year too. I like this exhibition, as it’s big. It
requires focus. But it has opportunities: I get to see the market outside the
UK. There are many European retailers and companies and more interestingly
there are manufacturers – manufacturers from all over the world. When we say,
“why doesn’t this exist” or “why is that so badly done” or “isn’t there a less
expensive option” the answers are invariably “it does” or “try this company” or
“there is!”

This year, I wanted to be more productive in my hours in
these halls. Usually one comes away with a heavy bag full of brochures and
flyers, most of which are filed and never looked at again or deep-sixed. This
time I only wanted to see what was new, what was actually a good product and
talk to people who had something to offer the UK. As a result I came away
with only a slim pile of brochures. But they were good. I was pleased.

You’d be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t a worldwide
recession on, looking at the stands. And I’m always amazed at the customers who
are impressed with size, gloss and giveaways: don’t you realise you are paying
for all this?!

All Terrain WheelchairSome products left me a little bewildered.

Like this beach
chair
,
was it ridiculous or a good solution?

Re-invented rollators, such as the ones showcased by Volaris and Rollz (shown) focused on function and form, but I have absolutely no idea whether their
effort is fantastic or just another entry to market?

Rollz rollator
Wheelchair cushions
bamboozle me: we are so badly informed and resources not applied to individuals
with real needs. Is the EXGEL wheelchair cushion
revolutionary or are we best sticking with what we know? What DO wheelchair
services know? Why aren’t we pressure tested at frequent intervals?

Ropox bathroom of the futureOne product that floated my boat was Ropox‘s bathroom designs of the future.
I could tell they had gone back to this old problem and really looked at it;
really worked out what simple things could do the trick, not just pay lip
service and turn a profit. The basin worked on so many levels and
actually
looked pretty cool. And not yet released were some grab rails (for the toilet)
that they had on display. As I was talked through the premise behind the
design, I felt myself smiling. The company must have consulted other people on this. It was simple, worked and I hadn’t seen it elsewhere. 

Hase tandem bike
It was good to see specialised cycle company Hase Bikes
there, as it answered some questions my girlfriend has been asking for
some time. Bless those people at Hase: you can
get a tandem with a handcycle for one half, though sit down before asking
the price… (oh, you already are…)

Rollitex jeansAnd I was pleased to meet with my suppliers. It was good to
walk up to them and give them some of the recent feedback I have been getting
for their products. It encourages and motivates us all.

 
Just so you know,
Rollitex are bringing out new ranges of jeans for wheelchair users which have now arrived…
Their stand was busy. And the people I spoke to while I stood by were all
repeat customers. ‘Nuff said.


Kindly written by Guy Harris