Providers should offer comfort clothing—if their teams have the right stuff

Sunday, September 25, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - There's a demand for "comfort clothing" and if HME providers don't meet it, customers will go somewhere else to find it. 

That's according to Jan Erickson, who recently spoke to HME News TV about the benefits and obstacles associated with selling comfort clothing (clothing adapted for nursing home and home health care patients) at an HME store. 

"If someone is going through chemotherapy or a mobility challenge or they're going through surgery, there are special needs around clothing that need to be addressed," Erickson said.

These customers are already in HME provider's stores, said Erickson, whose company, Janska, manufactures a line of clothing called Wellness Wear designed for people in with those needs. 

"To be able to connect the dots and help them find those products right there is a win-win for everyone," she said. 

Providers need to have a trained sales staff, she said. 

"If a store is just used to helping somebody pick something they have a prescription for, that's not going to work," said Erickson. "You can't just put up these wonderful racks of clothing and expect it to just fly off the shelves."

Erickson recommends salespeople talk to customers about what their needs are and lead them to the comfort clothing if it offers a solution. She also recommends working with a manufacturer who will help train staff and market the products.

Providers who offer soft goods expand their ability to take care of customers, she said. 

"It's just such a wonderful opportunity to be able to help people during a difficult time in their lives," said Erickson.