Live at Home 2019 Year-end Review

Published in Home Modifications on December 05, 2019

As I sit here on Thanksgiving Eve writing the year end review, I can’t help but think how grateful I am to work with a group of companies dedicated to helping mobility-challenged and senior families be independent and safe and in their most important place, their HOME!

As you get caught up in all the challenges in running your business—either big or small—my hope is that you realize how important the work your company does is for the consumer and the community in which you live. We are fortunate to have a business that allows us to perform such an important service that can result in a life-long generational customer relationship. Please know that the services you provide have great meaning to your customers, and the customer touch this industry allows is much more intimate than 98% of all the other goods and services they purchase. By providing a great customer experience, it is inevitable that your home access business will grow rapidly and your team’s job engagement and satisfaction along with it. I hope that as you end this year and think about 2020 that you take time to reflect on the difference your company made in the families that you touched.   

 2019 Review

New Manufacture Relationships:

Span/ Savaria Overhead Lift Program:   

We have enjoyed working with James Philpott Business Development for Overhead Lifts and the very professional Span America team on this new overhead lift line. In the volatile residential overhead lift market, Savaria has come on the scene with an excellent product line and great national sales team that will generate customers for their dealers. When you add in their exceptional training program, Span/ Savaria gives you all you need to become a successful overhead lift company. We expect them to rise to be a leader in this product category.


Stander has an excellent line of incremental accessory products that a savvy home access company can showcase for add-on sales to their customers. We have had a somewhat slow uptick with this manufacturer but look to provide more education on how Live at Home (LAH) members can increase their ticket amounts by educating their customers on the Signature series products

OK Technologies 

We are very intrigued with the possibilities that OK Technologies brings to our membership with their Circadian Lighting program. Already a proven technology that helps mitigate behavioral issues with dementia clients when used in long-term care and assisted living environments, they are now bringing their disruptive technology to the residential setting. Company owners Bill Kahler and Ted O’Brien are gearing up for a successful 2020 with a new marketing program and will be utilizing grant money to get the product into consumers homes through the LAH network. It an opportunity worth checking out if you haven’t yet


We had three Executive and three Installer training events this year. All had relevant content and great networking. For 2020, we are looking for a less-is-more program with two Executive events, our first one being the Heartland Conference, and two Installer events, Heartland also being the first. The Heartland Conference in June 15–17 and will have three days of Installer training and a two-day Executive track. We also will have a presence at Medtrade as home access companies are beginning to trickle back to that show. Other events will be announced in next month’s newsletter.

Membership Programs

Completion of our Master CEAC program, a six-course certification program in the primary categories of home access:

Residential Ramp Consultant—RRC

Platform Lift Consultant—PLC

Residential Grab Bar Specialist—RGBS

Stairway Lift Consultant—SLC

Residential Transfer Lift Specialist—RTLS

Residential Accessible Bathroom Consultant—RABC

Many thanks go out Bill Stelzer, our LAH consultant, who diligently provided the first draft on much of this two-and-a-half-year project. Also, a big thank you goes out to Dan and Darren Corcoran from Vets Access, LLC who have played a major role in this project as well as Martin Siminc from Home Safety Services for coming into the program this year and giving us some solid input.

The program is available as an online course. Watch our monthly newsletter and website for a great introductory price and more details.

Select Member Program  

We spent the summer and fall putting together our Select Member program that is being introduced this month, and we are looking for full-service members to join it. We will market the LAH network nationally to Consumer Groups, Insurance Policy holder, Senior Service Groups, and other national contacts who have interest in the senior aging-in-place market.

Please join us for our “How to be an LAH Select Member” webinar Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. CST.

New Members  

We had 34 new companies join the LAH membership group so far this year. We are still seeing much interest in this niche industry by all kinds of entrepreneurs.

Special Addition

We want to congratulate our esteemed colleague Jessica Barber on the Memorial Day birth of her son, Max!

Home Access Awareness

2019 had much more media buzz about the aging-in-place market. HomeCare Magazine devoted two covers to Home Access this year with Vince Pelose from Access to Independence being highlighted in an issue with several Home Access articles. Bill Kahler and Ted O’Brien made the cover with a story about their new Circadian Lighting program. In November, we were interviewed for an article that was published in the 40 Tribune Newspaper network. Louis Tenenbaum spoke at several national aging events. We expect consumer awareness to grow rapidly in the next three years, which would be very helpful as we continue to work for tax breaks for home access consumers. 

 Looking Ahead to 2020

Looking ahead to next year, we see lots of continued focus about educating consumers how to successfully age in place and expect another double digit growth year for the home access marketplace.

We will be announcing a new vendor in January of 2020 that we are excited about and will be working hard to implement and launch our new Select Member program.

Lastly, we want to help celebrate your big customer wins. If you have a project that makes an exceptional difference in the life of one of your consumers, let us help you highlight the event. Send us an email with some pictures and a brief description of the project. We will interview you and highlight the story in our newsletter and use it to market what our industry does  

Many of us, like myself who got their start in the HME industry, relate the home access industry to where the complex rehab/custom wheelchair industry was 25 years ago. It was a non-mature, evolving industry that was a bit of the wild west—with no true definition or standards. As we go through the next two years, it will be our focus to help define what this industry is going to be and how to professionalize it. We want our members to be considered the professional trusted source for home accessibility, and we look forward to working with you to help you reach your market potential.

Wishing you all great family holidays, and thanks so much for your membership


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  2. vgm live at home

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