Baby Boomers Want Accessibility Products and Good Service
When it comes to products to stock for Baby Boomers, advisors at HomeCare magazine largely agree that bathroom and home accessibility items like ramps, grab bars, stair rails and even bath lift systems are essential. And those products must be accompanied by good service.
We asked our editorial advisors to list the top three products that providers should have on hand for Baby Boomers. Here are some of their responses:
Alison Cherney, president, Cherney and Associates, Inc.: “Coordinate care for them. Get them custodial care. Talk to your caregivers and help facilitate other services. Top products are ADLs (Aids for Daily Living), mobility devices and other support products for seniors. Bath products, for example, are not covered by Medicare. Think out of the box.”
Shelly Prial, Prial Consulting: “The first and most important point is that they live in a home where they can get around comfortably. My wife and I are both mid-octogenarians, and we have installed the stair rails, grab bars and other necessary items for comfort and safety. DME/HME dealers must offer to review a home and suggest needed ADL items.”
Mary Ellen Conway, president, Capital Healthcare Group: “Home modification items that include lifts, ramps and brand-name adjustable beds. The HME supplier who is providing items outside of traditionally-reimbursed items will have an advantage in the market.”
Michael Hamilton, executive director, Alabama Durable Medical Equipment Association: “Home modifications, which virtually no current providers offer. Also, mobility aids of varying types and better portable oxygen products and services.”
Darren Tarleton, president and CEO, Mobility Warehouse: “Bath safety, stair lifts and lift chairs. I believe one of the most vital areas when it comes to keeping Baby Boomers in their homes is bath safety. We have a showroom that features everything from a grab bar to an entire tub lift. We install grab bars, and we have modified bathrooms to meet certain disabilities.
“The second thing is stair lifts. They are an inexpensive way for an elderly person to stay in their home. When I’m talking to a person about stair lifts, the first reaction that I get is, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of money.’ I ask them, ‘If you sold your house today what would you pay in real estate commission fees?’ The light bulb comes on for most people.
“The third item is lift chairs. At Mobility Warehouse we keep at least 24-26 units on display. There are three keys to selling a lift chair. One is price: some people want to know they are getting a good price on a chair. The second is quality: the customer does not want to spend money on a chair that is constantly breaking down. The third component of lift chair sales is providing service if a chair breaks down. Mobility Warehouse is able to repair chairs the same day 96 percent of the time. The Internet may offer the product cheaper, but where’s the service?”
Cindy Ciardo, CEO, Knueppel Healthcare Services, Inc.: “Bathroom safety products such as raised toilet seats, shower chairs, walk-in bathtubs, grab bars and bath lift systems.
“Mobility products such as walkers, wheelchairs, transport chairs, canes, ramps and scooters. Ramps are good cash sales and should be offered with every wheelchair and scooter sale or rental. Ceiling, stairs and platform (porch) lifts, and lift chairs. Vehicle lifts, too, although technically they are not in the home. All are non-Medicare reimbursed.”