Dietmar Sen: Every day on which the positive experiences and impressions predominate. This can be in leisure time or at work.
Which auxiliary means or daily living aids are indispensable for you?
Dietmar Sen: Without incontinence briefs and pads, I would feel insecure all the time. I'm glad there are Suprima washable incontinence briefs that offer me protection and help save on waste at the same time.
What would you like to see from society and your fellow people in dealing with people with disabilities?
Dietmar Sen: Open and relaxed interaction between people. We are all individuals with strengths, weaknesses and peculiarities. I think one should not try to fit people into a norm. That would not do justice to our individuality and reality. If you don't understand something, I think it's better to talk to the person about it instead of talking about it behind their back. Often you could certainly take something new away from a conversation and broaden your own perspective.
Which assistive device would urgently need to be invented and/or improved?
Dietmar Sen: In my youth, things were still repaired much more often and used several times. Today, environmental protection is becoming more and more of an issue. I think if we go back to how it was just a few decades ago, when groceries were carried home in the shopping basket, the TV was repaired instead of replaced, and even incontinence aids were usually washable and reusable, that would make the world a bit cleaner and conserve resources. Unfortunately, today there is rarely an offer of washable aids.
What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you?
Dietmar Sen: When I started having more and more problems with my bladder about seven years ago, I was infinitely embarrassed and tried to hide it. It is much easier when you learn to see it not as a flaw, but as a characteristic that you did not choose and for which you do not need to be ashamed. This applies equally to visits to the doctor and to the use of aids in everyday life if the incontinence persists despite treatment. I have been helped in particular by people from my family who have supported me on my way.
What can the assistive technology industry learn from the Corona pandemic to make life easier and/or better for people with disabilities in the future?
Dietmar Sen: We've all seen empty shelves in the sanitary paper section, and we're experiencing the difficulties that arise in everyday life when resources are scarce. Even though you might be able to sell large quantities of products consistently with disposables, it would be great to think a little more about and offer reusable products. I think there are still enough use cases where even the disposable products would still be preferred. In advertising, I would think it would be better for proud people to talk about their lives (with the aid) instead of making it look like the aids are there to hide and cover up the supposed embarrassing weakness.
If nothing would be impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why?
Dietmar Sen: No one in particular. I am happy to have positive thinking and acting people around me.
What was your best REHACARE experience?
Dietmar Sen: I have not been there yet. Maybe after the pandemic?
What I wanted to say ...
Dietmar Sen: We are all human beings with different characteristics. Let’s be authentic!