Reporter's notebook: Comfort Conversations creates connection

Friday, September 23, 2016

As a result of its new partnership with Comfort Medical, Wheel:Life has launched Comfort Conversations, a peer support program.

The blog series, written by Comfort Medical Ambassadors for wheelchair users, tackles a variety of subjects from limited hand dexterity to the perception of beauty in society.

“These conversations are written by wheelchair users who are well-placed in the community to help people explore how they feel about and address issues that they may be struggling with,” said Lisa Wells, Wheel:Life founder and director.

While the HME industry has been influential in developing online peer support groups for wheelchair users, not all peer support groups are created equal, says Wells.

The programs that really impact lives are those that focus on healing the whole person, whereas peer programs that are heavily product-oriented aren’t going to be as meaningful, says Wells.

“If your intent is to sell products, then you're going to have a limited point of
interaction with that individual,” she said. “If your goal is to provide resources to support that individual, they’re going to come to you again and again.”

In April, Comfort Medical acquired Wheel:Life, which has more than 26,000 followers on social media and served more than 100,000 website visitors in 2015 alone.

“We’re going to (leverage) those peer programs that Wheel:Life has already put in place to help support their customer base,” said Wells. “So now we’ve got emotional support, as well as lifestyle support.”