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A Colorado man’s aging parents kept falling. He invented the solution

The IndeeLift is helping Denver's Garden Care Homes, by providing them a tool to help residents to their feet.
Posted at 2:15 PM, Jan 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-21 11:12:03-05

It was a simple problem for Steve Powell, but a common one for many people with older relatives. His mom and dad kept falling.

Both his parents, who were divorced, wanted to age in separate homes. However, due to their advanced age, whenever they would fall, they needed help getting up.

Powell's mom, Norma, would often call 911, only to be embarrassed after firefighters broke down her door to help her to her feet.

"She fell six times in four weeks," said Powell. "She was so humiliated she said she would never call 911 again."

Powell's dad Eveet, had his own issues.

“After the first couple of weeks, he was literally bruised under his arms and around his shoulders from people picking him up," said Powell.

Although a common problem, Powell couldn't find an easy solution. Calling EMS or Powell meant that his parents could wait on the floor for long periods. To solve the issue, Powell, took matters into his own hands.

"I searched the world for an answer, didn't find it, so I built it," said Powell.

He invented a company he called IndeeLift, with a device he called The People Picker Upper.

A Colorado man’s aging parents kept falling. He invented the solution

Although both his parents have passed, Powell has expanded the company, selling the devices to at-home customers and nursing homes.

"The IndeeLift has been magical,” said Karen Brockmann, the health services director for Gardens Care in Denver.

Gardens Care has 19 homes across the Denver area, after a series of falls, they decided to get a People Picker Upper for every home.

"It's a huge selling point for us," said Brockmann. "People want to know their family member is safe here, this definitely sets their mind at ease a bit."

The IndeeLift looks a little wonky, almost like a vacuum cleaner. The wheels on the bottom allow it to be rolled throughout the home and it has straps to secure people to a seat flush to the ground. The fallen person can press a button to be elevated.

Brockmann says the machine is necessary, because nursing home attendants legally can't lift their residents after a tumble. A fall requires a call to EMS, which could take time since it's considered a "low-priority call."

"Sometimes they're here within 10-15 minutes, but it can take upwards of half an hour or longer for them to get here," said Brockmann.

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