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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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2/16/2013 10:00:00 PM
I've fallen and I CAN get up!: Invention enables elderly to get off the floor after a fall
Les Stukenberg/The Daily CourierPhysical therapist Al Peraza, with his wife Malena, patented a device called ResQUp that enables disabled people to get back into a chair from the floor. Peraza plans on marketing it to the medical community, hotels and retirement homes.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Physical therapist Al Peraza, with his wife Malena, patented a device called ResQUp that enables disabled people to get back into a chair from the floor. Peraza plans on marketing it to the medical community, hotels and retirement homes.
Ken Hedler
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT VALLEY - As a physical therapy supervisor at the Del E. Webb Outpatient Center here, Al Peraza works with a lot of patients who are frail and elderly.

Peraza, 50, cited a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicates one in every three adults age 65 and older falls each year.

That realization inspired Peraza, who holds a doctorate in physical therapy, to invent a device called ResQUp (pronounced "rescue up") that enables seniors who fall to be able to sit up or stand without help from anyone else.

"I have a passion for people and helping people," Peraza said.

His invention, made from recyclable low-density, polyethylene plastic, measures about 13.5 inches high by 30 inches wide and unfolds to show three steps, Peraza explained. If a person falls, he or she can grab the device's lateral handles from behind and scoot up to the top rung.

Doing so enables the user to sit up in a chair or wheelchair, and even stand up, said Peraza, who demonstrated the use of the product at his Prescott Valley home. Owners of the device, which holds up to 300 pounds, also may use it as a prop to get under the kitchen sink or change cat box filler.

ResQUp is well suited to an elderly man who falls on the floor and does not want his wife to hurt herself by lifting him up, according to Peraza. Owners of the device also may avoid 911 calls, thus reducing demands of ambulance crews that in turn enable them to focus on responding to serious injuries.

Peraza, a native of Norwalk, Calif., said he filed for a patent for the device in October 2009 with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The patent office notified him Jan. 11 that it approved a patent subject to the payment of $1,185 in fees by April 13.

While awaiting the patent, Peraza founded Safe Patient Solutions LLC in April 2010 to market ResQUp. He contacted his future business partner, Jerry Crandall of Prescott-based WCI Brokers, after reading an article about Crandall in the Daily Courier.

Crandall, who has a background in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, recalled Peraza worked with volunteers at SCORE, which stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives.

"He was finding limited success in getting the product marketed," Crandall said, adding he and Peraza resumed talks with SCORE.

"I looked at it (the product)," Crandall said. "I found it very interesting."

Crandall said he and Peraza recruited Michael Brothers in Prescott to manufacture the device.

Manufacturing started about a year ago, Peraza said, adding Safe Patient Solutions has sold about 50 of the products throughout the country.

The company is targeting ResQUp, which sells for $369, to individuals as well as to nursing homes, fitness centers for adults, hospitals and other potential customers, Peraza said.

He said a major medical supply company, North Coast Medical, sells the device. His wife, Malena, performs sales and marketing duties for Safe Patient Solutions as well.

"My goal is to just make the public and the medical community aware that it is available," said Peraza, referring to his first invention.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014
Article comment by: Marian Marian

I fell out of bed last night and could not get up. I have bad knees and cannot kneel. After 1 1/2 hrs. I figured the resqup strategy on my own using pillows and step stools with a final pull up by my son. I can hardly wait to get one of these! Looks perfect to me!

Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Article comment by: Stephanie Alderman

Am very instreasted in thus as a family member of mine keeps falling but struggling to stand back up. If you could give me the website to order this off please

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Senior Care Experience

People who jump to comment need to read the article thoroughly. It stated in the article that this would be good for "an elderly man who falls on the floor and doesn't want his wife to help him up". I can see the usefulness in that situation and in facilities that only staff one or two people at night. I'm not sure the price tag will help convince people to use this product in place of a free 911 call, but I think this device has some merit.

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Article comment by: Alfred Peraza

As the inventor of the ResQUp I appreciate all feedback whether it is positive or otherwise. The ResQUp is currently utilized regularly at Virginia Commonwealth University by a Professor of Neurology assisting Parkinson’s patients with their mobility deficits, it is being used locally at Adult fitness facilities to aid those wanting to perform floor exercises (Yoga, Pilates, and Stretch classes)preventing potential worker injuries lifting individuals off the floor, and many other locations throughout the U.S..
A reader suggested having a phone handy if you are prone to falling. Generally the person coming to aid the fallen is placed in harms’ way attempting to physically lift the fallen. NIOSH recommends that no caregiver physically lifts more than 30 pounds of body weight, exceeding results in back trauma.
A reader suggested that should you fall, you should simply roll over to your side, pull yourself up to your knees, and pull yourself up. The unfortunate fact is that, studies estimate 40% of all seniors over the age of 65 are unable to raise themselves off the floor after a non-injurious fall. If you are over 65 and can get yourself up from the floor please keep up with your exercises!
The ResQup is a device that may assist those seniors wanting to age in place and not wanting EMS to respond to their non-injury fall (60% of all falls occur at the home and ~30% are moderate-severe injuries, most are not). Do call EMS if you do suspect an injury after a fall. Most falls occur near the bedroom and bathroom when individuals are still groggy and in a hurry to use the facilities (a good place to have a ResQUp handy).
Visit or the American Nursing Association “Handle with Care” to learn more.
Alfred H. Peraza PT, DPT

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Article comment by: Steven Major

I agree with others who comment, this thing will have limited uses. If you are frail and prone to falling, carry a cell phone. If you do fall, you should first survey your situation to learn if you have badly bruised or broken anything...forcing movement can cause additional damage to yourself.

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Help I've Fallen And Need Fake Stairs to Try to Climb Up Backwards!!!!!

How many elderly people can lift themselves up stairs backwards?

I guess somebody better be around to bring the stairs to you. It will be entertaining to watch you try to go up them backwards after your fall.

If you are alone you are SOL.

I suggest:

Roll yourself near a heavy piece of furniture.

Roll to your side.

Pull your knees up.

Using the furniture as leverage, roll yourself onto your knees.

Slowly get up using the furniture to steady yourself.

Another idea. Carry your cellphone with you always. In a pocket, clipped to your slacks, etc. If you are really stuck, make a phone call!

Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Article comment by: Just Wonderin

So you can get up IF you can reach this thing? Guess I'll buy a gross to cover my entire house.

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