BY PAUL BICKLEY
According to AARP, about 90 percent of Americans want to continue living in their own homes as they age. “One change at home—a chairlift or a walk-in shower—can be the difference between living at home and living in a facility,” says Shaun Huttenlocker, manager of home medical equipment at Williams Bros. Health Care Pharmacy, 574 S. Landmark Ave.
Williams Bros. sells and installs products to help people age in place—to stay and live safely in their homes as they get older. Huttenlocker says that with 100 vendors, the pharmacy’s Safe Home Solutions (SHS) department carries a broad range of home medical products, such as ambulatory aids like braces, canes, crutches, post-op boots and shoes, walkers, transport chairs, wheelchairs, power scooters, and power chairs. Other home medical products include respiratory equipment such as small and large oxygen tanks, CPAP and other PAP devices, ventilators, and nebulizers.
There are also items for assistance in the bath (grab bars, toilet-seat risers, bath seats, and transfer benches) and in the bedroom (bed rails, patient lifts, and hospital beds). Other products include lifestyle/lift chairs and IV supplies. Some equipment can be rented.
The best-sellers? “Lifestyle chairs are really a hot item,” Huttenlocker says. These comfortable lifting chairs make it easy to sit down and stand up. Ambulatory aids are also on the list. “Older adults lose balance, lower-body strength, and the ability to walk,” Huttenlocker says. The National Council on Aging reports that falls are the leading cause of hospital admissions for older adults. “They can cost tens of thousands of dollars per person for hospital stays,” Huttenlocker says. “Or they could be the last fall.”
The Safe Home Solutions department also remodels homes for aging in place. “Bathrooms are obstacle courses,” Huttenlocker says. “They’re often the most challenging place.” Walk- and roll-in showers and walk-in bathtubs are popular home modifications, along with widened doorways and ramps. SHS offers free home assessments conducted by certified aging-in-place specialists.
“We genuinely care about people,” Huttenlocker says. “We recently had a strategy meeting with the [Williams Bros.] owners. What did we talk about? Improving people’s lives. We carry a lot of products, but if we don’t have it, we’ll call a competitor. At the end of the day, we want to feel that we’ve helped everybody we’ve talked to.”
Visit williamsbrospharmacy.com for more information.