“We’ve stood the test of time”: Lakeville business lifts up clients for over 30 years

Feb 13, 2024

LAKEVILLE — Located in an unassuming office in a small Lakeville strip mall, a long-time business provides a lift, literally and figuratively, for people facing physical challenges. 

Lift and Care Systems offers a variety of items to help patients with disabilities live more comfortable lives. Their products include ceiling lifts and portable lifts to allow people to transfer from one location to another without assistance. 

They also offer spa and pool lifts, which enable patients to enter and exit the water for therapy. 

Not all their products are as elaborate. Some items are simpler, such as grab bars and poles to help people get out of bed safely and independently. 

But all of the items have a common thread: They help improve lives by giving a patient more independence. 

That has been the goal of owner and Lakeville resident David Austin for the more than 30 years he has operated the business. 

Not everyone knows about the company, he said. “It’s a unique niche market,’’ he explained.

And a market that he has succeeded at. “We’ve stood the test of time,’’ he said.

He credits that to doing more than selling products but also providing service even long after the sale is completed.

“We don’t just install’’ items, he said. 

His company will often visit with patients before they leave the hospital or rehabilitation center to determine their specific circumstances and needs. 

They then follow up with customers to ensure products are working smoothly, he said.

His business features a replica of a bedroom and living area, where customers can view the systems he sells and how they operate. This showroom is “a really great way’’ to showcase the items up close.

He also offers this room for caregivers to learn how to operate the equipment and, just as crucially, he said, to be able to train others in their use. 

Austin takes pride in a long-term relationship with clients. “They’re not just a customer in the moment,’’ he said. In many cases, depending on their physical situation, “they’re a customer for the rest of their lives.’’

Austin takes pride in offering ceiling lifts, which can be installed on ceilings and allow customers to move through a room without assistance and while keeping the floor area clear. These items, he said, “are the way to go’’ if possible.

The lifts not only assist the patients themselves but also spare caregivers from having to provide physical support, he noted, which can make them susceptible to injury.  In addition to individual clients, he also works with larger-scale customers, providing group homes and schools in New England with equipment.

In recent years, he has also provided lifts that allow people with disabilities to mount and ride horses. By being lifted onto the horse, the person can then enjoy the emotional and physical benefits of horseback riding in a growing field known as hippotherapy. These lifts also minimize the number of people, often volunteers, required to help the rider. 

As the population ages, Austin predicted, the need for products and services he provides will grow,

He is teaching the business, which began in a room in his home, to his son Keagan Austin, who is poised to take over the business when he retires. 

He aims to continue to provide the personal service that he says is crucial to the success of his business.

“We try to figure out what will work for them,’’ he said.