ADLs Shine in Long Beach

The HME industry is populated by technologies and companies that started because someone had a great idea for a product that would help someone else live a more independent, safer or higher-quality life. So despite the current concerns over competitive bidding and funding cutbacks, it was encouraging to see ADL companies and products were out in force in Long Beach. And it was nice to see a blend of new exhibitors and new product innovations alongside the exhibitors and long-proven products we've gotten used to seeing in show halls every spring and fall. For example:

-- The design of the Big John toilet seat acknowledges the fact that consumers with mobility difficulties tend to grab and push down on toilet seats when trying to transfer. The Big John seat is 2 inches higher than standard toilet seats and 19 inches from side to side, thereby providing extra room for gripping. The seat is rated to 1,200-plus lbs. and includes stainless steel hinges so it's also a good choice for bariatric applications. The Big John toilet seat fits onto standard round and elongated toilets.

-- Bridge-Medical demonstrated a grab bar that grips surfaces via suction cups, thus eliminating the need for tools or a permanent installation. The product line ranges from the Single Grip, 13-inch model to the Telescoping Grip (adjustable from 21 to 31 inches) to the Telescoping Pivot Grip, which has pivoting and rotating ends and can be applied, for instance, across the corner of a bathtub.

-- EZ-ACCESS continued its campaign to help dealers not only sell more product, but to do so while maximizing the efficiency of their sales floor space. In the EZ-ACCESS booth were fixtures and displays designed to show off ramps and accessories, educate potential customers, store products, and make the dealer look like a real home accessibility expert. One of those helpful tools being shown in the booth: the Show & Stow Portable Ramp Showroom Display Rack. In a small footprint, the Show & Stow stores ramps, offers product information, and displays ramp samples -- all in a tidy and very attractive package.

-- Harmar Access displayed a growing line of bathlifts and accessories, including the Bubbly, which will be available in August. The Bubbly, which joins Harmar's AquaJoy, is designed to be an entry-level bathlift, with a price point to match. While the Bubbly doesn't feature the AquaJoy's recline system, it does have a similarly sleek, unobtrusive style that blends well with bathroom decor, and offers a convenient setup that's designed to make it easy and quick to use. Harmar's offerings now include vertical lifts, bathlifts and accessories, and stairlifts -- it's been a quick ramping up for the Access division.

-- Since consumers need to get a grip in areas beyond the bathroom, HealthCraft Products' showed off equipment that can facilitate rising, standing and balancing just about anywhere in the house. For instance, HealthCraft's SuperPole system can help consumers more safely get out of bed or out of a chair.

-- Home Care by Moen showed off a "Premium" line of bath safety products, including a bedside commode, a shower chair, a bathtub transfer bench, and a bathtub grip. The commode, chair and bench feature not regular armrests, but "support handles" that are pillar shaped, ergonomically placed and topped with a rubber grip. The support handles capitalize on the fact that people typically use armrests on these sorts of products to grab, then push themselves forward and up. So Moen did away with typical armrests and instead added easy-to-grip and non-slip handles to hold onto.

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