47,000 Visitors attended the REHACARE 2011 Düsseldorf Trade Fair and Congress

47,000 Visitors attended the REHACARE 2011 Düsseldorf Trade Fair and Congress

Interest in aids and topics revolving around rehabilitation and care is growing. This was reflected over the course of REHACARE 2011, International Trade Fair and Congress for Self-Determined Living, that closed its doors on Saturday, 24 September after the four-day event in Düsseldorf.

“REHACARE Düsseldorf is the right venue for tabling the current challenges for rehabilitation and care and for highlighting ways for people with disabilities, special care needs as well as age-related restrictions to cope with their everyday routines as independently as possible,” said Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, summing up the event. “We have struck a nerve here, especially with the REHACARE Congress – dedicated this year not only to senior-friendly living concepts but also to the widespread condition of dementia. There is quite clearly a great need for information and awareness here amongst patients, family members and even amongst experts.”

REHACARE 2011 attracted over 47,000 international trade visitors and affected individuals – as personal experts in this field – who came here to gather information on the innovative auxiliary means and new findings from science and research presented at the fair by 747 exhibitors from 29 countries. In line with the event’s thematic schedule this year REHACARE once again presented a range comparable with that of 2009. Back then the trade fair and congress counted 48,000 visitors.

Barbara Steffens, Minister for Health, Emancipation, Care and the Aged in North Rhine-Westphalia, underlined the importance of REHACARE during her visit here on 22 September 2011. With its focal themes “Dementia” and “Senior Living” the trade fair, she said, had picked up on two topics Germany urgently needed to address. Such an established event like REHACARE could make a key contribution here, said the Minister.

Praise was also directed at exhibitors and partners of REHACARE 2011. Dr Martin Danner, National Head of the German self-help association BAG SELBSTHILFE (Federal Self-Help Association for People with Disabilities and Chronic Illness and their Families) delighted at the high number of visitors at the stands of self-help groups

“The REHACARE trade fair offers a range of products spanning solutions suited to everyday use through to smart assistance systems – thereby providing insight into the future of rehabilitation and care,” explained Dr Danner. “And this picks up on the key themes of today. For affected individuals the trade fair is far more than an exhibition – it is the most important forum for exchanging experience and tabling topical issues relating to the disabled and health policy.”

At the focus of visitor interest at REHACARE were walking and mobility aids, vehicles, wheelchairs, aids for daily living aids and care. For Heiko Keuchel, Managing Director of the Bremervörde-based company Thomashilfen für Behinderte, trade fair participation was a resounding success: “We are very satisfied and have definitely met our trade fair objectives. As a company oriented to development we seek dialogue with affected individuals. REHACARE offers us great opportunities in this respect. And the trade fair is also successfully broadening its horizons in terms of care issues. Increases in the number of visitors interested in geriatric products and solutions are clearly noticeable and we very much welcome this.”

Dick J. van der Pijl – in charge of research and development at Tilburg-based Dutch firm FOCAL Meditec specialised in smart solutions for people with limited mobility of the arms – described REHACARE as a key contact exchange for meeting and taking on international sales partners and for exchanging ideas with specialists from the fields of science and technology. “This is the sixth consecutive year we have attended REHACARE and we are very satisfied.”

The REHACARE Congress with its lecture series on “Senior Living” and “Dementia” posted excellent attendance figures. 630 specialists and affected family members gathered a great deal of information on senior-friendly living concepts, the symptoms of dementia, preventative measures and support options. Once again meeting with great interest was the Wohn(t)raum theme park with its range of barrier-free building and living options located in Hall 3.

The North Rhine-Westphalia disabled sports association Behindertensportverband Nordrhein-Westfalen (BSNW) delighted visitors with the REHACARE Sport Centre providing information on the opportunities for staying fit and healthy even with disabilities. Recreational athletes, world champions and Paralympic champions celebrated their annual festival in Hall 9 of the exhibition centre. BSNW Managing Director Herbert Kaul was delighted by the event’s success: “For us REHACARE is the most important event for showcasing the wide range of sports for the disabled to the general public.”

The next REHACARE will be held in Düsseldorf from 10 to 13 October 2012.

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