A Look Back At 30 Years Of Providing Quality Products and Exceptional Service To Those Living With Disability

How And Why We Began Providing Durable Medical Equipment, Including Patient Lifts

Our team often gets asked – particularly our Owner and Founder, Dave Austin – why we got into the business of providing and installing a variety of patient lifts and other durable medical equipment (DME) to help those living with disability, and their caregivers, enjoy better life quality and independence. Some have even commented that it must be depressing work because of seeing people so challenged by illness. But, per our blog post on disability superstars, we’ve found it to be just the opposite. We find our clients to be sources of inspiration, and helping them, to be very gratifying.  

Being one of 8 children, our owner was both accustomed to, and comfortable with, taking time to understand others’ life challenges, expressing compassion, and offering support. So, when Dave saw an ad in The Boston Globe that Handi-Move ® (an innovative Belgium company) was looking to hire distributors for their much-needed, high-quality patient lifts (marketed under the Surehands® brand in the U.S.), he jumped on the opportunity! Not only for the aforementioned reasons, but because such a role would allow him to make use of the skills he acquired early in his career from owning and running a contracting business offering painting and construction services. Plus, becoming a distributor would allow him to apply his business and construction knowledge.

After two interviews at a Boston-area hotel (which included taking a personality test related to sales skills, which he passed with flying colors!), Dave was chosen to become the MA, RI, CT distributor for Handi-Move/Surehands, with the caveat the he would need to invest in some equipment initially to help educate himself on how the equipment worked and what was required to install it. And, “the rest is history,” as they say. 

The owner of the U.S. Surehands distributorship, Tom Herceg, showed great confidence in Dave and really mentored him, especially in Dave’s early years in business. Tom has now retired and passed the business along to a new owner, Mike Josiwick. Dave expressed great confidence in Mike’s vision for the distributorship of the Handi-Move patient lift systems, and looks forward to doing business with him and Surehands in the future.

How Our Product and Service Offerings Have Shifted and Grown Over The Years

As you’ll see from visiting the products section of our site from our home page, while Lift & Care Systems got our start as a provider of Surehands patient lifts, throughout our 30 years in business, we have continuously sought out new products and services to add to our line – ones that could make the lives of those who used our products easier. As much as possible, we wanted to provide a continuum of products and services so that, if and when clients’ conditions worsened, there would be another product/service we could provide and install to meet the new challenges of their particular condition or disability.

We understood, and continue to understand, that both individuals living with disability and their caregivers already have so much to contend with because of the condition in-question. We wanted to make their lives as easy as possible, and provide them with the peace of mind that they could always come to us for help and answers whenever they needed to. In fact, that’s one of the reasons, we rolled out our Lifts4Life Inspection Program – to take a concern about remembering to have their lifts inspected annually off their plates!

In keeping with the above, we’ve recently begun a short-term rental program for various patient lift and other DME -- like staircase lift chairs and wheelchair ramps -- to families and individuals who have a short-term need for such equipment. For example, a family member breaks a leg or has a stroke and needs help accessing various areas of the house, bed, tub, toilet, stairs (interior or exterior), etc. We’ve also recently introduced wheelchair scales, as part of the products and services we offer schools, day programs, and group homes.

This is a gold image with little burst of confetti on it and a seal says 30 years. The image says "celebrating 30 Years Of Providing Quality Products and Exceptional Service To Those Living With Disability"

A Family Business And A Team Who Feels Like Family

Of course, when our owner founded Lift & Care Systems, he was looking to start and invest in a business that would provide a comfortable lifestyle for himself and his family, but he also wanted and continues to want the same for his employees. Dave feels blessed that our organization has a large number of employees who have been employed with him for many years. While he is grateful for the hard work, creativity, and compassion that all of his employees bring to their roles, he’d like to give a SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to:

  • Erica Costa-Souza, Director of Operations (Service Calls & Ordering), 25 years.
  • Ron Gendron, Service Technician (Service Calls), 12 years.
  • Ellen Grungo, Sales Manager – our second employee who was referred to us by our first employee, 25-plus years!
  • Tina Santos, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable and Special Projects, 9 years.
  • Dave also loves the fact that his son, Keaghan, plays an important role at Lift & Care Systems and has been involved with our organization for over 15 years now. Keaghan started his career here at the early age of 14 – when he helped to fix motors and with small repairs. That lead to him working part-time many summers when he was in his teens and early 20’s. He kick-started his installation-related work as an assistant to the installer, and eventually became a full-time lead installer and now is responsible for training Lift & Care Systems’ installers, in addition to roles in sales & marketing. Keaghan, who is now a partner in this family-based business, brings a business degree along with youth and energy to the company. As a partner in this 30-year-old business, Keaghan also guarantees a succession plan – positioning the company for an additional number years, i.e., long into the future.

While we mention Dave a lot in this blog post, he was adamant that we share that he didn’t grow this business and customer base alone and is grateful for all the help and support he got over three decades. The joint efforts, empathy, consistency, and steadiness of long-standing and new employees all greatly contributed to Lift & Care Systems’ achieving our 30-year anniversary and continued growth, and he wants to deeply thank his employees for that. He also wants to thank all of our organization’s customers for their continued business – whether they be individuals, families, day programs, schools, or group homes. And, he also wants to thank all the aforementioned for the many referrals they’ve made over the years!

Lastly, but definitely not least importantly, Dave wants to acknowledge the undying support he’s received from his wife, Kim, over the last 30 years. As is the case with most successful business owners and entrepreneurs, Dave’s work hours regularly have extended into the evenings and weekends. Dave is extremely appreciative of Kim’s help and encouragement and emphasized how “he could not have done it without her.”

What’s On The Horizon For Us?

We shared information about this in our most recent blog post about lodging organizations offering accessible business and leisure travel, but in addition to expanding our products and services to include equipment rentals for short-term needs, and wheelchair scales, as mentioned above, we hope to begin working with hotels in MA, RI, and CT related to their needs to make their lodging accessible to all. We’d be thrilled to know that we’re continuing to expand on how we support individuals living their best quality of life by providing hotels with the means for those living with disability to stay with them comfortably and safely – hopefully, related to a fun, relaxing trip away!

Always Here To Help Regarding Patient Lift And Other DME Needs

The team of disability & aging in place experts and durable medical specialists at Lift & Care Systems has been helping individuals living with disability in MA, CT, and RI enjoy the best quality of life and greater independence for almost 30 years. Our skilled team can install and teach you how to correctly use one or several of the following types of products that help both seniors and disabled individuals enjoy more freedom and a higher quality of life: ceiling liftsbody support & slingsstaircase lift chairswheelchair rampsbathroom safety for seniors, mobile liftspool liftsvertical platform liftsaccessible showers, wall-to-wall patient lifts.

Reach out for a free consultation about how we can help you and your loved one related to accessibility and safety DME needs.

 

 

 

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