Innovative, emotional and eventful: REHACARE, the world’s largest trade fair for rehabilitation and care, has impressively presented with many innovations to touch and try out and numerous hands-on activities in the exhibition halls, what the growth market of care and rehabilitation has to offer in technological innovations for a self-determined life. From 14th to 17th In September 2022, around 35,000 visitors informed themselves about the latest everyday aids and solutions for almost every disability and every area of life. The focus of REHACARE 2022 was, among other things, aids for children, disabled conversion options for cars and other mobility aids as well as exoskeletons for professional reintegration in the “People and Work” theme park for the first time. The highlights of the accompanying supporting program included the trade fair included current topics such as Long COVID or Digitization / Participation 4.0.
Living inclusion, networking, testing everyday help in peace – this is what the REHACARE community had been waiting for for three years. The circle of those affected is large: At the end of 2021, according to the Federal Statistical Office, there were around 7.8 million severely disabled people in Germany – that is almost one in ten. According to care statistics, more than 4.1 million people were in need of care at the end of 2019. Of them, about 3.3 million were supplied at home. The 691 exhibiting companies from 38 countries, associations, self-help groups and Messe Düsseldorf were pleased about the enormous interest in the exhibition stands and the specialist forums. “Finally REHACARE again” could be heard everywhere in halls 4 to 7.
“With excellent innovations from the exhibitors, a dense range of products and exciting lectures directly from the industry, the world’s largest trade fair for rehabilitation and care celebrated its comeback as a leading exhibition. The focus of the events was above all on the personal conversations and the active coexistence of people with and without disabilities, both when experiencing the exhibits and in the Sport Center. REHACARE is close to people. The live experience and the lived inclusion make up the core of the fair,” summed up Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf.
Despite the difficult economic environment, in addition to many medium-sized companies, all top brands such as Dietz, Kadomo, Meyra, Ottobock, Sunrise or thyssenkrupp were represented at REHACARE 2022. REHACARE’s offer also scored points in terms of internationality with an increased share abroad. Trade fair guests from over 80 countries arrived.
High need for advice for those affected and relatives
The need for advice was high for many people affected and their relatives. Self-help groups and social associations supported them with words and deeds on the four days of the fair. In addition to the use of exoskeletons in rehabilitation, the topic of participation 4.0. and how digitization in the world of work can be made barrier-free were discussed. Dr. Martin Danner, Managing Director of the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Selbsthilfe (BAG SELBSTHILFE), was pleased about the numerous discussions at the stand. His summary: “This was a successful restart for REHACARE. Especially the self-help groups were very pleased with the exchange opportunities that the fair offers as an information and dialogue platform. Despite digital formats, the consulting opportunities during the pandemic were severely limited for many. I was very impressed by the innovations presented at REHACARE. The fact that they can now overcome almost all barriers is once again decisively changing the discussion about accessibility.”
Excellent atmosphere in the exhibition halls
There was also great satisfaction among the exhibitors of REHACARE:
“REHACARE was of particular importance for Ottobock this year,” said Philipp Hoefer, Managing Director Sales & Marketing DACH of Ottobock HealthCare Deutschland GmbH. “We presented our NeuroMobility concept there for the first time. The holistic care of patients with neurological indications is the future topic for the industry. The interest in the associated aids was huge, especially our new exopulse Mollii Suit thrilled. The personal exchange with the visitors at the stand is always inspiring for me and our team – finally this was possible again at REHACARE.”
Udo Späker, Marketing and Sales, Mobility Manufactory KADOMO GmbH: “We are pleased that REHACARE is so successful back. For us at KADOMO, I can already say that participation is a complete success.”
“We were extremely happy to be there. Our stand was almost overrun after such a long time. It was definitely the right decision to register us so early,” summed up Stefan Schäfer, Managing Director Sales & Marketing DACH of MEYRA.
Meeting place for children, community and celebrities
Prominent guests also paid a visit to REHACARE exhibitors. For example, the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of Health and Social Affairs Karl-Josef Laumann convinced himself of the innovative power of the companies during a knife tour and, together with the state disability and patient representative Claudia Middendorf, welcomed the guests of the “NRW Treff” at the state stand in Hall 6. At the booth of the state of NRW, trade fair visitors were able to find out about topics such as barrier-free and addiction-free living, self-determined living and inclusive work, among other things. In addition, experts were available for questions about the spa offers for caring relatives or the compatibility of work and care. Also a guest at REHACARE was Dr. Rolf Schmachtenberg, Official State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The multiple Olympic champion and exceptional athlete Kristina Vogel could be found at the trivida P+L Innovations stand, which was also impressed by the fair: “In Germany, around 1/10 of the population have a disability. The world out there is far from barrier-free and therefore people with a disability or with a need for care need appropriate tools. At a trade fair like REHACARE, you can inform yourself and, above all, try out products. That’s why it is so important as a platform and makes a decisive contribution to participation and inclusion.”
The lecture program of the FORUM PRODUCTS & NEWS @ REHACARE was enriched by the inclusion activist Raúl Krauthausen with his lecture “It depends on the encounter” and explained why encounters are more important than enlightenment.
Diverse program ensures know-how and exchange of ideas
The MEETING POINT REHACARE in Hall 6 was the heart of the event as a central platform for information, encounter and exchange of experiences. Trend topics included Long-COVID, digitization, participation in working life and technical assistance. The FORUM PRODUCTS & NEWS @ REHACARE, which brought innovations from the stands to the stage, was also very successful. Many visitors used the program to deepen the impressions and information gained during the knife tour.
Lots of action in the Sport Center
Participating and trying out was the motto in the Sport Center in Hall 7a. People with and without disabilities experienced the many possibilities of inclusive sport on the four days of the fair.
Lars Wiesel-Bauer, Managing Director of the Disabled and Rehabilitation Sports Association North Rhine-Westphalia e. V. (BRSNW): “After the corona break, it’s really a nice feeling to finally be back at REHACARE. Almost like a family reunion. The enthusiasm and joy of visitors that you can practice the most popular sports despite their disabilities has really overwhelmed us. The new, open sports field concept has also really proven itself.”
The 46th REHACARE will take place from the 13th September to 16. September 2023 in Düsseldorf.