REHACARE 2017 | The Basics
The REHACARE expo hosted in Düsseldorf, Germany is a true wonderland for people with disabilities. Exhibitors from all over the world show the most recent mobility and care aids currently available. The trade fair takes place during four days every year at the Düsseldorf trade fair center. One hall hosts a huge car show where visitors can find out about the various possibilities of how to drive as a wheelchair user. You can also see sports, dancing and service dogs live on stage. You can try all sorts of awesome activities, some of which you’d never expect… The exhibition grounds are huge and it is impossible to see everything in just one day.
MY TIP FOR YOU: You don’t feel like walking or pushing yourself the whole day? Take advantage of the free wheelchair and scooter rental service and book whatever is best for you at one of the two Mobilis booths. There’s one at the South entrance as well as another one at the North entrance. You can also contact them in advance by mail.
Adaptive sports | REHACARE 2017
During this year’s exhibition you could amuse yourself in wheelchair climbing, archery, table tennis, showdown (table tennis for the blind and visually impaired) as well as WCMX with the cool team of WCMX Germany. You could even pass your wheelchair driver’s licence in a small wheelchair-parkour.
Some mobility devices | REHACARE 2017
Although we spent four days at the expo, we still didn’t see everything. We simply ran out of time. So, unfortunately I couldn’t test all the mobility aids on my list.
The beautiful, lightweight CSEI Carbon fiber wheelchair blow my mind with its stunning and innovative design. It is handmade in Italy by Officina Ortopedica Maria Adelaide Srl.
The GRILLO walker immediately caught my attention. When I first saw it, I instantly knew that this might work for me. Having limb-girdle muscular dystrophy I can no longer walk, so I thought I could give it a try. However, reality overtook my enthusiasm.
I really loved the sweet and tiny mobility scooter as well as the small power wheelchair from the Korean Heartway Ltd. They both are foldable and very handy, I really enjoyed driving around with them.
These two mobility scooters simply were fun! The orange scooter has a motor engine whilst the red scooter is an electric one. Both scoots have remotely controlled ramps. Getting inside the scooters can be a bit tricky if you don’t have strong arms to push yourself up the slightly steep ramp. So you might need help for that, like I did. You can independently drive the Handiscoots in your own wheelchair, which definitely is great!
This power wheelchair of the next generation is a mobility device for design lovers! It looks like from another planet and I almost felt like Professor Xavier (X-Men) driving it. The WHILL mobility device smoothly glides along. Small obstacles are no problem, nevertheless it’s obviously no all-terrain-wheelchair. I think it’s a nice wheelchair for an urban environment. The WHILL is a great option for the elderly as well as for people with limited walking abilities. A severely disabled person might be better off in a “real” power wheelchair though.
Some positioning and training devices | REHACARE 2017
I also wanted to test wheelchair cushions because mine isn’t the best anymore. The EXGEL owl cushion was the most comfortable of all the cushions I sat on. The Japanese Kaji Corporation is located in Kyoto and I’m going to visit them on my next trip to Japan.
The THERMOFIT vibration plate was very interesting. It felt as if there were 1000 ants running through my body. A short but regular training with a vibration plate is considered to be helpful in preserving as well as maintaining muscular strength. However, after 10 minutes of training I felt exhausted.
Assistance and service dogs | REHACARE 2017
In this year’s REHACARE-edition, there were lots of different associations for assistance and service dogs. I’ve talked to two of them about their approaches: VITA Assistance Dogs as well as ILE Service Dogs. It was great to discover how dogs can help people with all kinds of disabilities. My friend Nina is in a power chair. Her assistance dog can open and close doors, turn on and off the lights, help to dress and undress, alert for help and reassure in case of anxiety. Nina is very happy with her loyal friend and helper. You can follow Nina on her blog rollinginthedeep, where she talks about her live, losses and new beginnings with muscular dystrophy.
To sum things up I can highly recommend visiting REHACARE! Not only because of the wide range of mobility and care aids to test, but also because of the great atmosphere! All the different people I talked to were genuinely kind. I’ve already booked my plane tickets for 2018!