New provider 'sells hope'
GREENCASTLE, Pa. – When Gail Redick’s multiple sclerosis led her to begin using a wheelchair, she quickly realized that most of her world wasn’t accessible.
“We become prisoners in our own home because of a simple step or two that keeps us from visiting family or friends,” she said. “But you’re still trying to live life like everyone else.”
Her saving grace: wheelchair ramps, which got her out of the home and back into the community. She launched wheelchairrampfriends.com, which celebrated its grand opening in June, to offer those ramps to others.
“I will be able to personally identify with customers,” she said. “This is freedom for people like me.”
She’s making contact with her own doctors to get the word out about her site, as well as letting local therapists and the hospital and VA hospital know what she has to offer.
Redick is getting into a promising field, says Mike Johnson, national sales manager for HME and home health care for EZ-Access.
“We’ve appreciated significant growth in the past year,” he said. “People are trying to stay in their homes as long as they can.”
Johnson said being a ramp-only provider is a good entry point from which providers sometimes branch out into grab bars, walkers, and other accessibility items.
“They grow to offer things their captive audience is looking for,” said Johnson.
Redick says that’s part of her plan too—once the wheelchair ramp business is established, she hopes to begin offering bath safety products.