Drive Medical Whisper Ultra Quiet Bath Lift

Independent Perspective 1746 with Erin Brunelle on the Drive Medical Whisper Ultra Quiet Bath Lift

Host:  Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Erin Brunelle, Associate Director of the Center for Assistive Technology at the University at Buffalo. And I'm your host, Ernie Churchwell. Welcome back to the program, Erin.

Guest:  Thanks for having me, Ernie.

Host:  It's our pleasure. Because you are the expert when it comes to all kinds of assistive technology that could make the difference in the lives of people with disabilities. But we should mention that you're able to be with us thanks to the sponsorship of TRAID and if you could briefly tell people what that is.

Guest:  Of course. So our center is the regional provider of the New York State TRAID Program. T-R-A-I-D stands for Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities. It is actually a federally mandated program that states are required to provide with the goals of increasing awareness of and access to assistive technology. So we have a number of items available for demonstration and loan to the community.

Host:  Oh, this is one of those cases where you have to say thank goodness for the federal government for coming through his programs like TRAID.

Guest:  Of course, and all states do have a similar program as well. So we do provide services to Western New York to Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming counties. All counties in New York State are served by a TRAID center and all states in the US do you have a comparable center.

Host:  Terrific. Well, as always, you're here because you want to enlighten our listeners on a particular type. of technology with which they may not be familiar. I believe it's called the Whisper Quiet Bath Lift.

Guest:  Absolutely. So we do have a few of these devices. They're actually made by Drive Medical, which anyone who you know is a has a big durable medical equipment interest would recognize that name. They make often a lot of wheelchairs and walkers and accessories and whatnot. This is actually kind of a unique device because it's a powered, bath lift. Someone might immediately say, Well, how is their power in the bathtub? I had that same concern. But the there's actually a remote that controls the lift. So it's essentially like a bench that someone might be used to in the bathtub. But instead of it being raised up above the bathwater, you can actually lower yourself into the bathwater. The battery lives inside their remote, so it can easily stay out of contact with the water. But regardless of that, there's no risk because it is all water sealed. So it's intended for use near water.

Host:  Alright, so there's no concern with one putting electrical equipment in the bathtub and kind of getting new inspiration all of a sudden.

Guest:  No, not quite. So the battery is housed directly in the remote so that can be easily placed outside the bathtub. And even if it did get wet that’s not an issue at all. It is a potentially very useful device for someone who really enjoys baths but is no longer able to lift themselves up and out of the bathtub. You know, bathrooms inherently because they're slippery can be really dangerous when people are transferring and extra support like this might be what makes the difference between someone being able to do what they enjoy and take a nice relaxing bubble bath or not do that.

Host:  And I presume that since it lowers you into the bath that when you first get on it, it's kind of to one side of the tub?

Guest:  So it will be kind of central to the tub. So it's like a chair that has essentially flaps from either side that cover the bathtub itself so the ledge of the bathtub, so someone could sit on the ledge and then put even put their back up against there's a backrest on the chair. Put their legs over the ledge and then get comfortable on the chair. And they press the button to lower themselves, take their nice, relaxing bubble bath and then when they're ready, they press the button to raise themselves back up.

Host:  Fascinating but would you believe we're running out of time I'm sure people will have questions. How can they reach you?

Guest:  They can give us a call at 716-836-1168 and talk to someone from our center. We do require appointments for any type of loan or any visit to our center someone might want to make.

Host:  Thanks so much for being with us, Erin.

Guest:  Thank you, Ernie.

Host:  You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today was Erin Brunelle, Associate Director of the Center for Assistive Technology at the University at Buffalo, and I've been your host Ernie Churchwell.