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A service of compassion

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Medical supply store offers care along with products

By Leslie Moore

 

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She has worked in the medical equipment field for 13 years, but Teresa Lynne Aldridge still remembers the first time she delivered a motorized wheelchair to a client who had suffered a stroke. The woman cried when she got into her chair for the first time and moved about her home without needing assistance.
“When she cried, I was crying with her,” said Aldridge, owner of American Mobility Products, Inc. “This is fulfillment that is unexplainable, and that is why I love what I do.”
Aldridge said she is compassionate toward the elderly and loves helping them. For Aldridge, she says it is rewarding to work in an industry where the services she provides help to improve her clients’ quality of life.
From motorized wheelchairs to canes to diabetic shoes that offer comfort without sacrificing style, American Mobility Products offers a wide range of products to serve customers’ individual needs.
Aldridge said she became owner of American Mobility Products five years ago when the Lord blessed her after discussing the possibility of buying the business with the previous owner.
She said she soon realized that having a profitable business requires a lot of dedication.  She said being single and not having children has allowed her to work tirelessly to build her business.
However, Aldridge said she has not done it alone, and that being surrounded by a dependable staff dedicated to their work as well as support from her family helped her business grow.
She said she has seen businesses struggle because they do not take the time to hire staff who are qualified or given the proper training.
And according to Aldridge, this is a setup for failure.

She said hiring the right people to represent her business is very important because she travels often for business and to visit family, and she doesn’t have to worry if work is getting done or customers are being taken care of while she is away.
“My advice to anyone wanting to open their own business is to count the cost and if it is something they are willing to sacrifice for,” Aldridge said.
She said she knows women who have small businesses sometimes have trouble getting a bank to finance them, but she said she was blessed to have Leroy Bratcher at Forcht Bank to help make it happen and to offer continued support.
Aldridge said it is very rewarding to own her own business, but it is very stressful as well. She said she is responsible for the livelihood of those who work for her, and that a real boss puts their employees before themselves.
“I would encourage any woman who has a desire to be a business owner to write down the pros and cons and pray over it and ask the Lord’s direction,” Aldridge said. “I never thought I would be a business owner, but I am, and I am having the time of my life.”
While Aldridge loves what she does, she said it has not been without challenges.
She said the majority of her challenges stem from Medicare, which most of her clients depend on.
“Medicare is ever changing the rules and regulations, and it seems at times they make up the rules as they go,” Aldridge said.
Aldridge said this can be very frustrating, however, she has been proactive by approaching Congressmen and traveling to Washington, D.C., for the past two years to give her customers a voice.
She also serves as a member of the Board of the Kentucky Medical Equipment Association.
Aldridge said there are still some good things about Medicare, such as paying for 12 bras a year for women who have undergone mastectomies due to breast cancer.
Last year a woman called and asked Aldridge if she would consider carrying mastectomy products because the store she normally purchased from had gone out of business.
“I never dreamed I’d do it because I lost my mother to breast cancer eight years ago, and I didn’t think I could handle it,” Aldrige said.
But after checking into it, Aldridge found no other businesses in the area that offered mastectomy products, and she realized these women had a special need that she could help fill. In February, she added Nearly Me mastectomy products to her store.
She hasn’t had a crier yet, but Aldridge said she enjoys helping women needing mastectomy products.
“They have been such fun,” Aldridge said. “They’ll get in here and they’ll priss around and they’ll feel whole again.”
And for Aldridge, this is just another way of fulfilling her business’ purpose of helping those in need improve their everyday lives.
American Mobility Products, Inc., provides motorized wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs, diabetic shoes, mastectomy products, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, vehicle lifts, ramps and stair lifts.
Aldridge said certain products may be special ordered when they cannot be found elsewhere.
For more information about American Mobility Products, call 469-1391 or stop by at 124 Old US Highway 68.