Businesses offer products, services to help elderly

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Businesses offer products, services to help elderly

Arizona Republic

Aug. 21, 2003 12:00 AM

Businesses increasingly are seeing a growing market for serving senior citizens. Here are three companies that have joined the industry:

HomeComings, (623) 544-8350: Moving can be a nightmare, especially for the elderly. Moving coordinator Charlotte Riley will handle the chore, from hiring a moving company to switching phone lines to purchasing new address labels. She'll do an assessment on what can be moved into the new space, usually a smaller apartment or assisted-living facility, where she'll unpack household items, put away dishes, transfer food from the old refrigerator to the new, make the bed, hook up the TV.

Though she will work for anyone, about 70 percent of her clients are seniors. "There are so many elderly in the Phoenix area and Maricopa (County)," she says. "They can't do it themselves."

Independent Living Products, or 1-800-377-8033: A year ago, Erika Feinberg bought a 10-year-old company she believes serves a growing market and performs a public service, as well. "We wanted a business that would make an impact on the world," she says of her Scottsdale-based company.

Independent Living Products sells more than 10,000 items for the home, from deluxe walkers to underwater treadmills to devices that help grasp utensils, open jars and reach places arms cannot. A hip-replacement kit contains a sock aid, a reaching aid, a dressing stick, a shoehorn and elastic laces. A showroom is located at 10799 N. 90th St., Scottsdale.

Wishing Wells, Dawn Wells, former star of TV's Gilligan's Island, recognized the need for adaptive clothing while caring for her 92-year-old mother, who lives in Florida. Wells now has a line of clothing called Wishing Wells, based in Studio City, Calif., that features easy-to-wear clothing with Velcro closings, roomy arm holes for ease in dressing, drawstring waists, or side openings in trousers to accommodate incontinence products.

Wells will soon pair with Home Instead Senior Care franchises to help promote her line. "It's not what I do for a living," she says. "There's just a need. I think it will take off."

- Barbara Yost

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