Editor’s Note: When a dear friend was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Debra Mills decided to stop working and put her nursing background to use to care for her. As time passed and her friend’s condition worsened, she was exposed to the various tools and products available to the disability community today. Sadly, ALS eventually proved to be stronger than her friend, but Mills decided to turn her passion for helping others into a full-time career as the sales and marketing manager for 101 Mobility Chicago. Today, she is on a mission to let people know that staying in their home after illness or injury is possible with the right equipment.
After my friend passed away, and I decided to go back to work, I really wanted to get back into the medical field. I was extremely lucky to meet Nick and Elizabeth Lopez, the owners of 101 Mobility Chicago, and they asked me to join the team. My biggest passion is just letting people know that they're not alone and there are plenty of people out there to help them. It’s also important to note that disability solutions are amazing these days. Even from just five years ago, we've made leaps and bounds.
101 Mobility is a franchise, and at 101 Mobility Chicago, we take care of the Chicagoland area, Northwest Suburbs, and north to the Wisconsin Border. We have solutions to keep everybody safely mobile inside and outside of the home.
Our company is proud to work with core values, and we have a very caring, passionate, and knowledgeable team.
Customer Service is the most important aspect of our company. We can be reached 24/7, and we work on weekends and holidays in case of emergencies. That really sets us apart from our competition because we're passionate about what we do. Our heart is in the game at all times. We want people to enjoy their holidays, weddings, family parties, and other events, and we're willing to put our own lives aside to help those in need.
We offer products for purchase, as well as short and long-term rentals. Often when people are released from the hospital or go home after rehab, they might need a ramp installed at their home. The hospital doesn't necessarily know what their lifestyle is like at home or whether they have stairs or not. Sometimes, we're given a few hours’ notice that someone is coming home and they won’t be able to get into their house in their wheelchair. We rearrange our whole schedule for the day to get that ramp, stair lift, or whatever it is they need installed because we want people to be able to get back into their home. Otherwise, they cannot be released from the hospital or rehab center.
There really is no place like home, and we're more than willing to accommodate and help these people.
Some of our short-term rentals are popular for weddings or other events. I was just working with a bride a few weeks ago who was getting married in a Chicago church that had several stairs at the entrance. Her mom had recently had a stroke, and she wanted her to be able to attend the ceremony but didn’t know how to get her into the church in her wheelchair. We told her about the Liftkar, a battery-operated device that reads the stairs and makes it easy for someone to lift the person up or down while in their wheelchair.
We also do bath safety solutions, and one of our most popular products is the ShowerBuddy. It’s a lifesaver for many people. It acts like a wheelchair but slides over a toilet and then slides them over into the tub without them ever getting out of the chair. The chair also tilts back, so if the caregiver needs to wash their hair, it makes it easy for them.
We have Valet Signature Seating for cars, SUVs, and trucks. It’s a one-button solution programmed to their customer’s needs. The seat rotates, extends out of the car, and moves up and down. It also meets applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. We remove the stock seat out of the vehicle, which can be reinstalled later if needed, and replace it with the Valet Signature Seat. This allows for easy accessibility and facilitates transferring the person in and out of the car. It can go into the front or back seat. For people who still want to drive, we have products that lift scooters and wheelchairs into their vehicle providing another easy solution.
If a ramp is not an option for someone at their home, we have vertical platform lifts. For multi-story homes, we can install straight-rail or curved stair lifts. This is really important because a lot of elderly people do not want to go into nursing homes.
Not only are nursing homes very expensive, but you also lose the quality of life you had in your own home.
We assess homes at no obligation and give people beneficial solutions based on what they may need now or in the future to keep them in their home longer.
Editor’s Note: See all of the products 101 Mobility Chicago offers at Chicago.101mobility.com. Contact information for a free in-home assessment can also be found on the website.
We love doing charity work, and we also donate some products to a lending closet. They then lend them out to people who can’t afford to purchase or rent the products. We work with all of the major Chicago area hospitals and have collaborated with Wounded Warriors and Make a Wish Foundation in the past as well.
We recently did an event called 50 Cooks and 50 Divas that Dish and the money raised went to a local school system. It was a lot of fun. There were 50 different cooks who supplied the food, and people paid $35 to come in a taste it all.
We also just had our first Fall Festival where we brought in people from the medical field as well as various vendors to showcase and demonstrate all the latest disability solutions and accessibility products.
It's my passion to let people know that they're not alone and that there are things we can teach them. We can educate the journey. Even if they don't need a solution for themselves, maybe someone they know does or will in the future. They can be an advocate for others. Knowledge is power, and we all need to stay safe and healthy. If someone you know needs a mobility solution, whether it be a friend, relative, neighbor, or co-worker, time is of the essence. You can be that resource for others. I learned a lot from my experience taking care of my girlfriend, Tina, who had ALS. My other friends and I didn’t know where to start when we learned about her disease. How do we get her the products she needs now and down the road on her journey of having ALS? I want others to benefit from the knowledge I’ve gained. It's my heart that talks.
This isn't a job for me, it's a passion to help people and touch their hearts.
I don't want anyone to think they're alone. I am the one truly blessed, and I want to pay it forward to help give people a little extra freedom, an extra smile, and love from someone who has experienced a lot of life’s woes firsthand.
“Pleasant, polite and competent sales and installation personnel delivered functional life changing stair lift chair. Smiles all around! Wish we would have made the decision sooner!” -Geralyn Koby, Elgin, IL
Editor’s Note: Not in the Chicago area but looking for a mobility solution? Find a 101 Mobility location near you here and ask for a free consultation.
101 Mobility Chicago can also be found on Facebook.
Betsy Bailey has a diverse background including experience in marketing research at American Express, business operations and client relations with 601am, travel and culinary writing with VegDining, and playing volleyball professionally overseas.
Betsy is excited to be writing, something she’s adored since childhood, and thoroughly enjoys the process of getting to know her interviewees. On top of her work with Wheel:Life, she also teaches students learning English as a second language, speaks French fluently, and travels any chance she gets!