Transfer Tech: Q&A with Ability Products’ Torsten Eikemeier

Ability Products, a new Bloomfield, Iowa-based distributor that specializes in components for seating systems and wheelchairs, features Rolko products, including transfer items. Mobility Management asked Ability Products CEO Torsten Eikemeier about the importance of these accessories.

Rolko Turning Table

Rolko EasyTRANSFER Turning Table

Mobility Management: Why was it important to include transfer equipment among your product offerings?

Torsten Eikemeier: To use mobility products such as wheelchairs, you need to be able to get in them and out of them. We want to be able to offer everything that a wheelchair user would need. Not only are the spare parts or accessories for the mobility product important, but also the parts for the transfer, too.

MM: Why is it important to teach wheelchair users (and their caregivers) how to safely and efficiently transfer between their wheelchairs and their beds, toilets, cars, bath/shower chairs, etc.?

TE: You may have a perfectly adapted wheelchair, but without the knowledge of how to easily and safely get in and out of it, the transfer process will be very strenuous for the wheelchair user and the caregiver. Accidents can happen. If a transfer fails, it can take a lot of effort to get the person back into the correct position.

MM: What qualities should ATPs look for in transfer equipment?

TE: The basic requirement is having high-quality material. Development and production should be well processed. Look for safe function, no sharp edges, and certification markings that indicate conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards. Make sure the transfer products are easy to transport and have grips for easy handling. Transfer boards should include sliding boards with cut-outs for wheels. This ensures a safe crossover to the wheelchair. When considering a turntable, a non-slip surface is crucial.

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2020 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.