A podcast where we share stories of hope for family caregivers breaking through loneliness to see God even in this season of life.

Stories of Hope for living content, loving well, and caring with no regrets!

Stories of Hope with Steve Powell

Episode 184

Steve Powell’s story is a beautiful example of how love and necessity can spark innovation. Rayna Neises had the honor of discussing Steve’s mission to create a world where the elderly and disabled can rise with dignity.  His invention was born from witnessing his own parents’ struggles, a challenge he met with a blend of compassion and creativity.

Steve Powell recounts the painful reality of his parents’ frequent falls and inability to get up on their own due to health issues and its impact. Driven by a divine nudge and his parents’ plight, Steve, a creative technology expert, invented a life-changing device. This invention not only helped his mother regain her independence, preventing falls for nine months, but also marked a turning point for many others facing similar challenges. IndeeLift transformed from a personal mission to a global endeavor, improving lives and allowing people to age in place with dignity.

Our discussion wasn’t just about the mechanics of caregiving; it was about the soul behind it. We discussed how faith intertwines with compassion, how innovation can uphold the dignity of those we care for, and how emotional and practical support can transform the caregiving landscape. Steve’s journey and the solutions offered by IndeeLift.com stand as a beacon of hope, showing us that through ingenuity and empathy, we can make a profound difference in the lives of those we love.


  
0:04      Caregiver Tech Solutions for Independence
 
12:10    Caregiver Solutions and Faith Journey
 
22:26    Safe Patient Handling Tools for Home and Facilities

This Episode is brought to you by:

No Regrets: Hope for Your Caregiving Season

No Regrets: Hope for Your Caregiving Season an AlzAuthor endorsed book/No Regrets: Hope for Your Caregiving Season shares Rayna Neises’ personal heart-warming stories and practical suggestions for journeying through one’s caregiving season.

As people age, so do their loved ones. The healthy integration of caring for an aging parent requires being able to walk them all the way to the end of their life while still having a life to walk back into. No Regrets helps caregivers consider how being intentional in their season of caring will allow them to care for their loved one well while at the same time not losing themselves in the caring.

This book contains valuable information for family caregivers, including strategies for incorporating self-care, tips for advocating for your loved one, and ways to build a caregiving team using strengths, resources, and personality traits of all members. Rayna also emphasizes the importance of making the most of the time with your loved one, even if they may not be as they once were. Even though there will undoubtedly be challenging times, she helps caregivers understand the value of cherishing the memories and moments of joy.”  Teepa Snow | Founder of Positive Approach to Care

 

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Steve Powell

Steve Powell

Steve Powell is a techie entrepreneur with 30+ years experience developing tech solutions to make work lives more efficient and productive. His caregiving responsibilities transitioned him from being focused on techie solutions to becoming a compassionate advocate and developer of tools to keep our elderly and disabled safer and more independent while living at home, where everyone wants to stay!

His life is now fulfilled with purpose as he continues to fight for dignity and independence for those with mobility challenges.

 

Resources

Transcript

*Transcript is an actual recount of the live conversation

[00:00:00] Rayna Neises: Welcome. This is Rayna Neises with A Season of Caring Podcast, where we share stories of hope for family caregivers breaking through the busyness and loneliness of caregiving to see God even in the middle of this season. Today I’m excited to introduce you to Steve Powell. Steve is a techie entrepreneur with 30 plus years experience developing tech to make work lives more efficient and productive. His caregiving responsibilities transitioned him from being focused on techie solutions to becoming a compassionate advocate and developer of tools to keep our elderly and disabled safer and more independent while living at home, where they wanna stay. Steve’s life is now fulfilled with purpose as he continues to fight for dignity and independence for those with mobility challenges. Steve, I’m so excited to have you here today. Thank you for joining us.

[00:00:54] Steve Powell: Well, thank you for having me.

[00:00:56] Rayna Neises: So tell us a little bit about what caregiving has looked like in your life, and obviously it’s made a big impact. So tell us a little bit about that.

[00:01:06] Steve Powell: Well, I found myself to be a caregiver because my mother, who was separated from my father, lived in a different place and she needed lots of assistance in lots of ways and I was the one that lived in town, so apparently I became the default caregiver of

[00:01:19] Rayna Neises: That happens.

[00:01:20] Steve Powell: and as years went by, and my sisters live out in different towns and my brother lives across the country. And so I was the guy that was voted voted local caregiver, and all the way to the point of, up until when she passed in December, I did her laundry every week. And I coordinated the other caregivers and I did all the shopping and I did all those things and so now it’s a little different after many, many years of taking care of one or another. I’m not personally responsible for anybody at the moment, and that’s not a bad thing because I have plenty of years of practice.

[00:01:51] Rayna Neises: I wanna stop you there ’cause I, we’ll come back, but I, I love that you shared it in that way because I think so many times people fall into caregiving because of location, like you said. And oftentimes I hear women say, oh, the burden always falls on the girl and it’s sometimes true, but sometimes it does have a lot to do with location.

[00:02:12] It was logical for you to step into those roles and help take care of those needs. So good job in doing that. And definitely, like you said, it’s different whenever that season’s over. Things feel really different without all those additional responsibilities. So,

[00:02:26] go ahead. interrupted you.

[00:02:27] Steve Powell: I’ve been a caregiver for grandkids. I was the primary caregiver for. Well, my 15-year-old granddaughter, when she was six months old, her mother took a vet tech job and and school, and I was the caregiver from seven in the morning till three in the afternoon for about six months while she would’ve finished that school.

[00:02:44] So I’ve been the caregiver on both ends of the spectrum, from the little ones to the elderly, and I was a caregiver for my father and from a couple of aunts, and I’ve got a lot of experience in that and I’m, I’m not, I’m not feeling lost at this point, but it’s a little different. Not having anybody that I need to go pay attention to because ’cause they need something.

[00:03:02] And then, so I haven’t quite, I haven’t, it hasn’t quite soaked in yet, but but I am a more of a free spirit today than I have been for many years. I.

[00:03:13] Rayna Neises: Well, that’s good. I’m sure. I think as caregivers, our seasons come and go, but we usually find ourselves back in that place again with people, we just see the needs and step into those. And that’s a lot of what you’ve done with your technology is seen this need and kind of moved into that. So tell us a little bit about how that happened with your mom. Right.

[00:03:32] Steve Powell: Well, it’s always my mother and my father, and it ends up being that. Both of my parents had falling problems. My father was fairly large for not being very tall. He was, he was obese and, and he had some bad knees, and they wouldn’t fix his bad knees because he didn’t meet the medical requirements for surgery.

[00:03:50] They were afraid for him. So he had to live with bad knees and he would just be walking through the house, and a knee would go out. He’d end up on the floor. And that happened, you know, for many years. But he was able to just get up. But then, then as dementia set in and he and his diabetes set in and he became have had having more medical difficulties, he couldn’t get up anymore and.

[00:04:11] So it was difficult to watch that process. And, and they had a Hoyer lift at their home because his wife was a was a registered nurse and they knew about all these things, and for a while we could get him up with a Hoyer lift, but it took both of us and patients to do that. And then he got scared. He got, he was swinging on the little, the, the little platform at one point and got scared and swore he was never gonna do that again. And then he would still fall. It didn’t change the fact that he’d fall. He would wake up in the middle of the night and he’d go to the restroom like he had done all of his life and jump out of bed to go to the bathroom and bam, next thing you know, he is on the ground.

[00:04:45] So that started very difficult time with the fire department and they would, they were in a rural environment and the fire department would show up whenever they needed it. But they picked him up so many times that he became black and blue and bruised under his shoulders and his arms from picking him up. And then when they would pick him up, he would scream and holler in pain at the same time. And it was just his most difficult thing that I had to find a way to resolve. I had to solve this problem.

[00:05:11] During this same period of time. My mother fell six times in four weeks. And five times I was around always, it’s four 30 in the morning, I had to go to the bathroom. I got up, I fell on the floor. You gotta come get me. So I would do that, and I did that five or six times in that case. And what I tell everybody now is God really wanted me to solve this problem because I’m guaranteeing that he pushed my mother gently over numerous times so that I would do something about it.

[00:05:41] And so the last time she fallen that fall run, the fire department had to come. Well, they had to break into her house and she was on her way to the bathroom from bed. She had fallen on the way to the bathroom, not on the way back, which means now she’s a mess and she’s got these firefighters standing over She said, I’m never calling the fire department again. I’m just gonna wait till you come back to town. And I said, mom, you.

[00:06:06] Rayna Neises: Oh.

[00:06:09] Steve Powell: It’s not falling so much, it creates a problem. But if you stay on the floor a long time, elderly and disabled folks start to start to time out and their, their body starts to shut down. And if you’re on the floor for a couple hours, you might be sore for a week. If you’re on the floor for three hours, you might be sore for a month.

[00:06:26] If you’re on the floor for four or five hours, your body start to shut down and there may not be any recovery, that happens. So I have both of these situations where my mother and my father are falling. And like I say, God pushed my mother down enough that I had to find an answer because my dad was screaming, hollering in pain.

[00:06:41] My mother is, is just feeling humiliated because she can’t have people come that aren’t her family become help her because it’s just humiliating and, and she needed to be independent. And when she fell that many times in a short period of time, her whole demeanor changed about being at home. She could no longer come walk around the house, she couldn’t do the laundry. She was afraid that she was gonna fall, and her whole life was living in fear.

[00:07:08] So I had to do something about this. So I scoured the internet and every possible combination of places to find a device, a machine, or something that was gonna help my mother and my father. They had different situations and I couldn’t find an answer. So. Being creative as I was. I, I, I built one, I built a machine for my father. I, it rolled around and he could, we could tilt him onto it and pick him up. And my mother had a small apartment and I put a machine on the wall in her house. And as soon as I put that machine there, she didn’t fall for nine months. So it was a fall prevention device.

[00:07:40] Rayna Neises: Wow.

[00:07:42] That’s one thing I think is so important we forget how much psychologically that plays into things. If you have never experienced that fear of falling and being stuck and having to be dependent on other people, you don’t think about it. And I think oftentimes they’re trying to be more careful and it actually causes problems. And like you said, more dependence. And so it really does play into just overall confidence. That’s amazing. Nine months without falling, after so many in a row.

[00:08:16] Steve Powell: Right. Well, so she called me. When she finally fell, she called and she said, oh, Steve, you have to come get me up. I’m on the floor. Well, I was busy. I didn’t get the call at that moment. She left another message just a few minutes later and said, oh, Steve, you won’t believe it. I scooted over to that machine you put on the wall, and I got on it and I pushed the button and I got up by myself.

[00:08:37] You do not have to come get me. And that was a ridiculing moment in my whole career doing, helping people get off the floor because my mother. Get off by herself. She called me a couple weeks later and said, you know, Steve, I fell down again, but I didn’t have to call you because I got myself back up. And her whole attitude changed because she’s now independently capable of doing this without calling 9 1 1, without calling the family, without calling anybody, she got up by herself. That was a defining moment in my future and the future of our company, Indy Lift, because my father. It passed away and he was, he didn’t get to use a machine that I made for him because it wasn’t done in time for him, but my mother used it regularly and as. We talked to others. Apparently my mother and my father were not the only two people on the planet who fell down and couldn’t get up.

[00:09:25] It ends up being, there’s neuromuscular diseases, there’s bad knees, there’s osteoarthritis. There’s many, many reasons why people can’t get up if they fall, and lots of reasons for them to fall. I. And we spend millions and millions of dollars every year teaching people how not to fall and how to make their homes safer so that they can stay independently at home.

[00:09:45] But that doesn’t change the fact that they lose their balance or their neuropathy in their feet cause them to fall over or whatever the cases is are. And in my mother’s case. She was very mobile and very ambulatory, but she had bad knees, and if she ended up on the ground, she couldn’t get any weight on the knees because of the pain it caused her and she couldn’t get up.

[00:10:04] So we solved that problem and it ends up we solved that problem for a lot of people. So in 2014, I quit my job as a technology guy, and I went to work building these machines and started started this effort on the, on this journey. To do God’s work because I really believe what we’re doing is helping people maintain their independence and security, and we’re keeping them where they wanna be at home.

[00:10:28] And so to me, I’m blessed to have the opportunity to do that. And now we literally help thousands and thousands of people get up off of the floor when they fall down. And if you were to look at the reviews that people give on our products. They tell you how it’s life changing because now I didn’t have to call the fire department.

[00:10:47] I didn’t have to call for people outside. And I’ve got lots of stories and maybe we’ll talk about those other stories, but, but the good news is we can help people now, and the better news is people actually understand what we need and there’s more and more people that understand the benefits of what we have. And we’re helping more and more people every day. And while I would normally be retired under conditions. I have no desire to retire. I’m working. I’m building a global company that can do this to help people all over the planet because it’s the best work I’ve ever done working for God.

[00:11:17] Rayna Neises: It is so amazing whenever we progress through life and all the experiences that we’ve had in life as they come together, and God just really opens those doors for you to use all the knowledge that you had from your work industry to all the caregiving experience you had to bless so many other people.

[00:11:36] That’s just so encouraging, Steve, and I really appreciate you sharing that.

[00:11:39] I know you are enjoying my conversation with Steve, his passion for being able to take this challenge that he experienced in caring for his aging parents and turn it into a blessing for so many people. I love his passion for what he feels called to do and how he’s blessing others through this really tough experience of having his parents struggling to be able to live on their own and have the support that they needed to do that.

[00:12:09] Today’s episode is brought to you by No Regrets Hope for Your Caregiving Season. That’s my book.

[00:12:16] I would love if you have read it, offer a review, reviews makes such a difference. So if you haven’t done that, I would really appreciate you hopping online either at Goodreads or wherever you purchased your book.

[00:12:28] No Regrets Hope Your Caregiving Season is my book sharing my experience of caring for both of my parents who lived with Alzheimer’s. It’s a comforting book that offers practical tips and personal stories that will help you walk your parent all the way to the end of their life and still have a life that you love to walk back into. I explained how I held onto my faith, managed my fear and provided the best possible care.

[00:12:56] Deb Kelsey-Davis shares in her review, “By reading this book and learning from its rich stories, you will learn to exchange your heartache for hope and memories to forever cherish.”

[00:13:08] Teepa Snow calls it Beautiful and Thoughtfully written Caregiver Guide. This book contains valuable information for family caregivers, including strategies for incorporating self-care tips for advocating for your loved one and ways to build a caregiving team through strengths, resources, and personality traits of all members. Rayna also emphasizes the importance of making the most of the time for your loved one even if they may not be as they once were. Even though there will undoubtedly be challenging times. She helps caregivers understand the value of cherishing, the memories and moments of joy. That’s Teepa Snow. Positive Approach to Care (C) creator and dementia educator, guru offering her review of No Regrets on Amazon.

[00:13:56] So if you have not purchased your book you can get it at all major retailers. If you would like a personalized signed copy in a special gift pack for me, visit no regrets-book.com. Let’s go back and finish up our conversation with Steve.

[00:14:14] What would you say is one thing that was most surprising in the caregiving ?

[00:14:19] Steve Powell: Well, I’m not sure that anything was surprising because I’ve been caregiving for a long time and it just becomes, it’s just part of life. And so there are those of us who, that’s what we do. And there are those of us who are drug in kicking and screaming, and I’ve always been kind of a willing participant.

[00:14:37] So I don’t find anything surprising other than the sheer volume of people who need assistance. And it’s overwhelming think about all the people who I could, who I could help if I could get to them. But you can’t, and you can only do so much. And so that’s why in this case, we have a company, and we have machines and we can’t be there to help them, but we can provide a solution that will help them maintain their independence and stay at home.

[00:15:02] And that’s what everybody wants to do.

[00:15:06] Rayna Neises: Well, and I love too that you, you mentioned you had the Hoya lift, but it was such a scary experience and I think sometimes it surprises me how little development there is in improving the tools that are available. Hoya lifts are huge and they’re very cumbersome, and not many are automatic. You know, there’s a lot of pumping ones that are available.

[00:15:30] I, I just think it’s amazing how. We have this aging population, we’re all going to get older, like you said, we wanna be at home. That’s where our comfort is. That’s where our memories are, and yet the tools to keep us there are so limited. It really surprises me. And so I love that you’re being a solution to one of the problems and definitely a problem that many have.

[00:15:56] There are many falls before there’s a broken something with a fall. Right. And so it’s being able to help them with that so that, that they can stay independent as long as possible. I love that about your product, that it’s something they can do themselves. It’s not something necessarily, they have to be dependent on others.

[00:16:13] Steve Powell: Well, they, it is, the machines were patented as self-operated, but. They are, and they’re very helpful for those who are by themselves. But when you’ve got a caregiver involved, they’re help even more helpful. It’s now, we’re not injuring the caregiver or the patient now, it’s the most easy things. You roll a machine over and, and tilt somebody up and push the button and one minute later they’re off, off the floor.

[00:16:36] They’re, they’re back to their day-to-Day life. And we took what was a harrowing experience, which caused us to call our family and who they can’t get us up, they call 9 1 1 and we’re waiting around and all these things. We took this difficult situation and turned it into a non-issue and, and while unless you’ve actually had the experience of falling and not being able to get up, you don’t understand how. That tends to tear at one psyche, because that is the most basic of independence for me to be able to walk around my, my, my home every day. And if I fall down and I can’t get up, that is, it’s, it’s devastating. I. But we’ve solved that a little machine that we’re making as, as inexpensively as possible can do the job.

[00:17:24] And we take something that was difficult and now we keep people at home for years longer than they would otherwise stay at home because they have a tool that’s just a tool that helps them do that. And I hope, I hope to create some other, some, some other devices too.

[00:17:40] Rayna Neises: That’s so important too in thinking about with the caregiver’s help, because I know there were a period of time where my dad was, they were doing some medication changes and just like you said, so many times it happens at night. He was getting up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom and then and doing it too quickly and he would end up on the floor and it was just that, just like you talked about with your mom just sliding off the bed and going all the way to the floor.

[00:18:02] You know, the legs just didn’t hold him up. But with the dementia, he didn’t know how to help me. Physically, if we were doing a game or if we were, if I were to have something on the floor, you know, for him to sit and stand up when he was in. During the day and it was a game or something. I think he could have processed how to do that.

[00:18:21] You know, we played ping pong, we did all kinds of things. So he was still very physically agile. But in those moments, the confusion that set in of even understanding how to help me help him was one of the things that was so. So hard because he would just not cooperate. I would lift him high enough to, for him to get his feet under him, but still didn’t stand up. And so we had to find our way over to the bed and I wouldn’t be able to, you know, lift and then kind of roll us both onto the bed. It was just so difficult. Thankfully this season didn’t last very long and we got the medication straightened out and he did okay, but. We did have a caregiver that had him on the floor for four hours and I was very with that. said, well, I brought a pillow and I’m blanket, and I covered him up and I’m like, oh my gosh. But it was one of those things that, you know. It has to be terrifying to experience falling and not being able to get up.

[00:19:18] And I, I do even as we need caregivers, this is a tool that helps. I know that if there was something I could have gotten under him and given him the opportunity to sit and then stand from that sitting position, it would’ve been a hundred times easier. So I, I you have done and what a blessing.

[00:19:38] Steve Powell: You just make a tool. There’s, we need a tool and there’s tools for everything. So you’ve heard of the Jaws of Life before. The Jaws of Life, people were crashed in automobile crashes and they would die because we couldn’t get ’em outta the out of the car. And now they’ve got a tool that does that, and we can get ’em out of the car, extract them in moments, and we can save lives over and over.

[00:19:57] Well, we’re not necessarily. Saving lives when we’re picking people up. But we’re saving their dignity. We’re getting them back off the floor before they get injured. We get before trouble starts. It’s it’s very satisfying. And, and if you talk to the folks that I do that call me and say, thank you so very much for inventing this machine. It changed my life. I can go to work. My husband’s okay, he can get up by himself. We’ve proven he can do that. Our whole life is better now. That’s, that’s satisfaction.

[00:20:25] Rayna Neises: Yes. That’s amazing and that’s, I love that you give the glory to God in that situation. My next question I usually ask is, where does God showed up for you? And it’s been all the way through being able to let you come up with the idea and engineer it and then be able to produce it and to a point that it’s the size that fits in an apartment, I just think is so amazing.

[00:20:46] Steve Powell: Well I’ve, I’ve been influenced by God since I was a young child. At eight years old, I found Jesus, and while my life went through lots of crazy things, I’ve always had a focus in the end on that and I. And like I say, I tell you, God pushed my mother over gently for a number of times, which caused me to be, to be passionate about solving this problem for my mother and my father.

[00:21:07] And now we have a solution that that solves that problem all over the planet. And it’s, it’s just super cool. I take no credit for that. I just happened to be the vessel by which we had to solve a problem. When you take a mechanical guy and you give him a challenge and you, you, you solve the challenge and of course, then there’s the business aspect and getting money and all these things, but apparently I was the guy for the job because this is my job now.

[00:21:32] Rayna Neises: Yep. God worked all of those things out too, so that’s amazing. Well, Steve, it’s so great to meet you. I have one question I love to ask. How do you find yourself living content, loving well, or caring without regrets?

[00:21:47] Steve Powell: All of the above. I am. I. I wake up every morning, know that when I go, knowing that when I go to work, that we’re going to help more people today. And we’re not just helping the people that fall. We’re helping their caregivers and we’re not just helping those people at home, but we’re helping the folks in assisted living and in skilled nursing facilities and the residential facilities because we’re providing the tools that are letting their caregivers give them better care and safer and avoid the 9 1 1 calls.

[00:22:14] All of the goodness that goes with it. It’s just goodness. On top of goodness, on top of goodness, I can’t do anything but wake up every morning excited to go to work because what are we gonna do to help somebody today? It’s a beautiful thing.

[00:22:25] Rayna Neises: I love that. Thank you so much, Steve, for being here with us today. Share with the people your website again, and how they can find out more about this amazing product.

[00:22:35] Steve Powell: So our website is ind lyft I-N-D-E-E-L-I-F t.com, and that’s about independent Lyft. And so the idea is to get you off the floor before anybody even knows you’re on the floor. And keep you safe at home. Everybody wants to stay at home, so that’s that www.indeelift.com. We have lots of machines for lots of different configurations.

[00:23:01] We have special things to deal with neuromuscular diseases. We have special machines for doing standing lifts for hospitals. We’ve got something for, we’ve eliminated people getting injured when they use our machines as they’re manipulating patients. And it truly is a safe patient handling tool. And that’s what it’s about, handling people safely.

[00:23:20] Rayna Neises: Thank you for being here with us and just sharing your passion for God and for being able to help others.

[00:23:26] Steve Powell: It is a beautiful thing. There’s nothing more you can do for God. He doesn’t need your money. He doesn’t need your glorification. He’s got all of that. What he needs is us to take care of each other because we’re all God’s children.

[00:23:39] Rayna Neises: Well said. Thank you for joining us today, listeners. A Seasoned Caring Podcast has been created for sharing stories of hope, for living content, loving well, and caring without regrets. If you have legal, financial, or medical questions, be sure to consult your local professionals and take heart in your season of caring.

            Meet Your Host

Rayna Neises

Rayna Neises, ACC

Author of No Regrets: Hope for Your Caregiving Season, Editor of Content Magazine, ICF Certified Coach, Speaker, Podcast Host, & Positive Approach to Care® Independent Trainer offering encouragement, support, and resources to those who are in a Season of Caring for Aging Parents.

Her passion is for those caring and their parents, so that both might be seen, not forgotten & cared for, not neglected.

Would you like to be a Guest?  |  Email Rayna

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Rayna Neises: A Season of Caring