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REHACARE Post Show Report: REHACARE 2016

Visitors and exhibitors at REHACARE 2016 unanimously drew the same conclusion: What a great event! The exhibition halls were well attended on all four days – 49,300 international industry professionals and people affected visited Europe’s leading trade fair for rehabilitation and care.

In addition, the size of the exhibition area broke all records: No other REHACARE, since it was launched 39 years ago, has taken up so much space like the one in 2016. 916 exhibitors from 36 countries presented a plethora of innovations: New aids and solution approaches, which, to a great extent, enable people with a disability and the elderly to lead a self-determined life.

REHACARE 2016 made its mark again as the international market of possibilities and presented a comprehensive range on offer from “little helpers” for everyday life right up to complex high-tech mobility equipment and assistance systems. The event confirmed its high significance as an information platform for affected people as well: Special shows, lectures and platforms for the exchange of information were important reference points for everybody seeking information and consultancy or wanting to meet other affected people.

Automobile manufacturers and retrofitters

More information on the topic of mobility at: Cars and motor homes were the visitor magnets at REHACARE 2016. After all, in this segment, mobility for people with a disability reaches undreamt-of possibilities: In exhibition hall 6 you could gather information from 30 specialists about customised car modifications – involved were manufacturers such as Audi, Daimler, Volkswagen and Fiat. A retrofitted motor home presented special features with which wheelchair users are able to travel independently through the world, and which can now also be rented on a trial basis first.

The future is also moving on in the digital sector and more and more functions can be controlled by app, such as, for example, getting the car out of the parking space from the outside, should there not be enough room to operate the lift.


The REHACARE Forum started with a lot of humour: At the beginning of the four-day event, psychiatrist, Catholic theologian, author and well-known cabaret artist Dr. Manfred Lütz took apart the health, fitness and beauty cult in a satirical lecture on the topic of “Love of life – about the risks and side-effects of health”. Following this informal introduction, a total of 20 lectures and panel discussions considered the educational topic of current legislative procedures, for example, the cabinet bill for the German Federal Participation Act and the legislation for Remedies and Aids, as well as living arrangements and living space adaptation for vigil coma patients. The world of work occupied a position of particular importance. The integration office of the Regional Associations of Rhineland and Westphalia-Lippe demonstrated how to get a foot in the door of the job market during their two daily lectures.

Each day the programme was concluded with questions regarding the daily life of those parties affected and with topics from the subject area of mobility and sport. These were addressed through lectures by Paralympics gold medallist Kirsten Bruhn or the closing event of a special campaign: The Sozialverband Deutschland, Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen (Social Federation Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia) launched a major Call-to-Action Campaign in the summer, under the motto „Ich bin nicht behindert, ich WERDE behindert“ (I am not disabled, I am NOT ENABLED). It brought the REHACARE Forum to a worthy conclusion.

Living with care @home

The forum Living with care @home was very popular this year. Already in the second year of its existence, the further education and information programme attracted twice as many participants as in the previous year, namely around 400 care professionals and caregiving relatives. They wereall looking for support in order to be able to cope better with the daily challenges and burdens.

Many people attended the seminars on domestic care for those in need offered by the Nursing Academy Lower Rhine, Willich, in cooperation with healthcare professionals from various disciplines. The day which was centred around issues for wound experts was also a great success with 250 participants – the Chronic Wound Initiative (ICW) awarded education credits for attending the advanced training session. The main focus for caregiving relatives was on the lectures and information on how to support people with dementia.


Our living quarters are for everybody, or at least they should be. The REHACARE Congress “Wir fürs Quartier” (“We for our Quarter”) advocates this fervently. Our cities should be designed in such a way that elderly people can continue to reside in the environment familiar to them. Approximately 120 representatives from municipalities, social and residential housing, and organised citizenry convened at the exhibition centre on REHACARE Thursday to exchange ideas about developing quarters suited to the needs of elderly people.

The following names are just an example of those who spoke at the event: NRW Minister of Health and patroness Barbara Steffens, Chairman of the BAGSO (German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations) and former Federal Minister Franz Müntefering, and Managing Director of Kuratorium Deutsche Altershilfe – Wilhelmine-Lübke-Stiftung (Curatorship German Care for the Elderly – Wilhelmine Lübke Foundation) Helmut Kneppe. The interest in this first nationwide information platform greatly surpassed all expectations of Messe Düsseldorf. People from these quarters made use of this unique opportunity to mingle at the trade fair stands and tables and to gather essential information from the presentations.


Lots went on at REHACARE when it came to sports – there was a literal high when abseiling, because here wheelchair users could heave them- selves with their own strength right up to under the roof of the exhibition hall, or they could have themselves pulled up with the help of some strong men. This year, however, it was not only dizzying due to the height but also because of breakneck stunts: They were rolling in the skate park for all that it was worth. David Lebuser, the first German professional WXMX skater, showed his expertise as did the US American wheelchair athlete Aaron Fotheringham, who is the only person who can do back- and frontflips in a wheelchair.
However, for the largest part, the programme in the Sports Center naturally consisted of offers for daily life: The Behinderten- und Rehabilitationssportverband Nordrhein-Westfalen – BRSNW (Disability and Rehabilitation Sport Association North Rhine-Westphalia) presented types of sport, which will get people with a disability and the elderly to be physically active: sports such as dancing, boccia, archery and many more.

Paralympic athletes were honoured at REHACARE

The year 2016 was the year of sport with an impressive highlight in September. The Paralympics in Rio took place with enormous success for the German participants. To mark this occasion, high-ranking sports visitors were welcomed to REHACARE: The trade fair hosted NRW Paralympic athletes, and they were duly honoured in the presence of ministers of state, parliament representatives and other guests.
Participating, amongst many others: Sebastian Dietz, who won gold in shot put; Hans-Peter Durst, who was awarded a gold medal twice for paracycling; Felix Streng, who reached third place in the 100 metre sprint. In a relaxed atmosphere, the participants, such as the athletes Frederike Koleiski and Heinrich Popow, spoke with a moderator about their time at the Paralympics in Rio and their future athletic ambitions.

Next year, REHACARE 2017 awaits you from 4 to 7 October.
We are already\\0 looking forward to welcoming you to Düsseldorf again next year. Until that time, you can keep up-to-date – with us at website and our continually growing\\0\\0 community on

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