51,250 experts and people affected gathered information about aids for self-determined living / Demographic development as an innovation driver / New information formats went down exceedingly well
One of the central issues of our times is how to deal with disablities, care needs and lead a largely self-determined life in old age. This was impressively documented by the international trade fair REHACARE 2014, drawing to a close after four days on Saturday, 27 September. 51,250 trade visitors, people affected and dependants came to the Düsseldorf exhibition halls to learn from 902 exhibitors from 36 countries about innovative assistive technologies, gain new insights and exchange experiences. This means that the trade fair, which presents a comparable line-up of ranges every two years, registered a slight increase in visitor attendance. 2012 saw 51,000 visitors come to REHACARE while last year 43,500 were registered.
Explaining the reasons for the positive trend at REHACARE, Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, said: "Ageing societies, rising life expectancy and the associated nursing care problems, but also the rising demands made by people affected and the elderly on autonomy and participation are the key innovation drivers for the industry that is rehabilitation and nursing care. Exhibitors both from at home and abroad have presented a wealth of innovations and further developments especially in the field of mobility. Both people affected and experts are keen to benefit from these."
New information formats such as the REHACARE Forum featuring lectures on the quality of care for people with impairments and on inclusion went down exceedingly well. Also well attended was the Forum "Living with Care @Home". A great number of dependant carers used this opportunity to get valuable advice for their daily nursing care routine and find out about support options in seminars and one-on-one talks.
Dr Martin Danner, Head of the Federal Working Group for Self-Help (BAG SELBSTHILFE), praised the diversity of the trade fair: "REHACARE is a must for all those seeking an overview of the aids available for people with impairments today. Here, everything is offered from everyday aids to highly individualised high-tech products for just about every disability." People affected also appreciate REHACARE as an information platform that sheds light on and explains the policy framework for the disabled. "Our information events on the imminent reforms of the nursing care insurance and the German Participation Act were very well attended," says Dr Danner.
The exhibitors at REHACARE 2014 delighted at the high turnout of trade visitors. "Our products and services require in-depth consulting. This is why specialist retailers are our most important partners. In Düsseldorf we hoped to explain to this target group how our international brand network helps ensure performance. And these expectations were fulfilled. We met with a very interested and expert audience," says Udo T. Weinstock, Trade Marketing Manager of INVACARE GmbH, Isny, which produces and distributes a host of aids from sanitary products for nursing care to mobility solutions.
Just under 8,100 trade visitors from sales and import travelled to REHACARE in Düsseldorf from abroad. They hailed from over 40 countries and are indispensable especially for an export-oriented industry as is the AT industry.
Everything supporting and promoting mobility was centre stage for the majority of REHACARE visitors. Almost one in two visitors wanted to gather information on walking and mobility aids such as vehicles and wheelchairs. This also applies to the product segment of daily living aids. Every one in four visitors attended the stands of car makers and retrofitters. 20 percent welcomed the ranges revolving around "Accessible and Living".
Tourism, leisure and sports are picking up. More and more REHACARE visitors are attracted by the travel market and especially the Sports Center as the activity hub of the trade fair. More than one in five visitors obtained information from the North Rhine-Westphalia Disability Sports Association (BSNW), Duisburg, about disability sports, inclusive sports and health prevention or took part in the versatile activities. "Attendance was simply phenomenal this year," enthused Herbert Kaul, General Manager of BSNW, and went on to say: "We have become the meeting point for all trade fair visitors keen about sports and this fact is also one increasingly recognised by exhibitors who are represented here with wheelchairs and other leisure and sports products. People wish to try out what they see at the stands on display here. A great development that shows us that we are on the right track."
Also drawing to a positive close was the REHACARE Congress 2014 on the theme of "District Development - ALL in the Midst of Things". On 24 and 25 September it dealt with the development of districts, neighbourhoods and communities into sustainable living environments suitable for old-age requirements in seven lecture series and 50 individual talks. 400 congress delegates from urban planning, regional policy and housing capitalised on this opportunity to learn from the experiences of proven district concepts.
According to the overall verdict of its visitors polled in a representative survey, REHACARE 2014 closed with outstanding results: 96 percent were satisfied with the trade fair and its ranges.
The next REHACARE will be held in Düsseldorf from 14 to 17 October 2015.
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Manuela Preinbergs, Ulrike Osahon (Assistant)
Phone: +49 (0)211 4560-542 / -992
Fax: +49 (0)211/4560-87542 / -87992
Düsseldorf, 27 September 2014