The ATSA Independent Living Expo Sydney 2019-feedback

Mobile Shower Trolley, Bath Lift, Wheelchair, Rollator Wheely Walker, Crutches, Positioning Pillow, Positioning Cushion

The ATSA Independent Living Expo Sydney 2019 - feedback

Gong Life Care Solutions is an Australian-owned business located in beautiful Wollongong, just south of Sydney. Being so close to Sydney, we were able to join many exhibitors, delegates, and community members at the ATSA Independent Living Expo which took place on the 8th and 9th of May. It was held at the amazing Sydney Olympic Park and it was well worth participating, on so many levels. 

The ATSA Expo is one of the most comprehensive events of its kind for people with disability, seniors, people who are carers, allied health professionals, rehabilitation providers and interested members of the public. And we noted that tertiary and TAFE students were present in large numbers too. It was completely free to attend. There were at least 130 exhibitors. Most were suppliers of equipment, and in addition there were professional bodies like Occupational Therapy Australia, not-for-profit community services like Achieve Australia, Northcott, Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, and Vision Australia, to name a few. Representatives from NDIS were also present and had a stall near ours.

A National Disability Insurance Agency representative gave an opening talk on Day 2 of the conference program.

The two things that struck us most about the expo, were the friendliness and the amazing amount of expert knowledge gathered under the one (rather large) roof!  The Gong Life Care Solutions team were all there to talk with knowledgeable community members – people with disabilities, elderly members of the community, people who were in caring roles, allied health professionals, and students. People shared their ideas, challenges, their successes, and hopes with us. Suppliers with years of knowledge and skill came to talk with us, and we also did the rounds to talk and look, and learn.

Is it a bed bath? Most common question last week!

We were so happy that we’d decided to bring someone with us to help demonstrate our Aquabuddy-Home (mobile shower trolley) bed showering system! He was a great hit! And I’m not talking about our manager Tony! (Although he was very helpful too!)

Our portable Aquabuddy-Home (mobile shower trolley) shower system was designed as a shower solution for in-home care, to be used in place of traditional assisted bathing and showering aids and methods, either in aged care facilities or at home. In nursing homes, residents who are in pain, sick, frail, or not able to walk, are transferred to the bathroom using shower trolleys or commode chairs – but the use of shower trolleys in private homes is often not feasible due to their size, weight and cost.  Everyone who came to our stand was so intrigued with the innovation of the Aquabuddy-Home (mobile shower trolley). It was a great opportunity for us to show it off in (sort-of) real life, ie not just via a video on our website. We spoke with many students doing Aged Care or Disability certificates and they were mightily impressed. We spoke with a visiting Engineer and his wife who was an Occupational Therapist. The gentleman examined the design features and thought it was brilliant. He impressed us with his knowledge of the way the two different types of tubes worked, especially the flexible suction tube component which vacuums up the water and drains it away into the disposal tank during the showering process to avoid watery mishaps!

Some comments from visitors who watched our demonstrations include:

- “how much better it would be to use this (Aquabuddy-Home) and not have to move someone to a bathroom”

-  "fabulous how it can be used with any type of bed”

- “a person would feel so much cleaner and nicer with this shower instead of just a bed-bath”

- “wow, no mess! It’s so clever”

- “very hygienic how it works with the two water tanks”

 Other innovative products

Another product that attracted a lot of attention, particularly from Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Physiotherapists, was our award-winning lightweight, folding, manual wheelchair / transit wheelchair.  We were demonstrating two models, our Strongback24, which can be propelled by the user or an attendant, and the Strongback Excursion transit wheelchair. Both chairs are known as posture support ergonomic wheelchairs, due to the inbuilt structural design, which supports the lumbar area, encouraging improved posture and reducing pain and discomfort.  All the OTs just had to sit in the chairs, and commented very favourably on their comfort and great support. One OT actually said - “It’s so comfortable, I want this for my office!”

The visiting OTs and Physiotherapists were also keen on our positioning pillow / positioning cushion, the LASAL Embracer. People tried it out in conjunction with the Strongback wheelchairs and remarked on the feeling of comfort and stability. It gives the user a good sense of safety and comfort, assists in trunk support, and makes it possible for the user to relax in both arms from the neck to the fingertips without the arms falling to the side. It’s considered to be a medical cushion and is registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration as a medical device. It can be used in a wheelchair, princess chair, chair or sitting in bed.  It is also equipped with a belt, which makes it possible to fasten the Embracer (not the person) to the back of a chair or wheelchair in order to prevent the cushion from sliding down every time the person moves.

We had several other products on display – including the KMINA indoor folding rollator/wheely walker which was tried out by a lot of people last week. We could hear the surprise in people’s voices as soon as they moved the rollator. They said it’s because they could feel how light it was, and how manoeuvrable, yet also strong and stable. Everyone loved the basket with tray top, and several commented that it was very practical for moving around inside the home, especially as it’s narrower and lighter than traditional walkers.  An impressive feature noted by several carers was the braking system, which is a full width bar, which can be operated by both hands or either hand, and is therefore extremely beneficial for users who only have the use of one arm or hand, or have weakness on one side, eg from a stroke.

We couldn’t fully demonstrate our battery-operated home bath lift - Relaxa-Bathlift – due to the location, but we ran out of pamphlets as most visitors had never seen anything like this!  The level of interest was high. It’s a motorized bath lift designed for use by elderly people or those who find getting in and out of the bath increasingly more difficult.

For more information, contact us on 1300 907 280, Tues to Fri, 8.00 am – 5.00 pm AEDT or email

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