A Better Dining Experience for Your Caree


A Better Dining Experience for Your Caree

(Editor’s Note: On a regular basis, we run a sponsored article called Site of the Week. We thank Live On Goods for its generous support of Caregiving.com.)

It's a problem you may face when caring for a family member with a disease, disability or injury. You need what you needed when you raised your children but you can't use now what you used then.

Enter Live On Goods, which designs and has manufactured the bonTop®, the stylish adult bib clothing protector created because of a real-world experience. Company founder Helen Nill saw a lack of stylish, dignified clothing protectors when taking her mother-in-law out for a meal or dining at home with family and friends..

Once inspired to create a solution, Helen, a registered nurse, connected with her colleagues – Laura Rao, an occupational therapist, Maria Krach, a registered dietitian, Gretchen Dahm, who holds a MBA, and Mary Briscoe, who has a business and retail background. Together, they formed Live On Goods to develop products for the elderly and those with physical limitations that will allow them to Live On and enjoy their lives. The partners relied on their professional and personal caregiving experience to find a solution to this messy dining problem.

“We met around a kitchen table and began the discussion,” explains Helen. “Our more talented seamstress partners began mocking up prototypes. We initially thought we might make all or part of bibs ourselves but quickly realized we wanted them to look beautiful and stylish so we took them to a professional manufacturer. The manufacturer helped us to design something that would work from their standpoint as well. We are very proud to continue to produce our product locally in Northeastern Indiana.”

The company also turned to focus groups to ensure it created a product that consumers wanted. “We gained so many good insights from our focus groups. One lady with a frozen shoulder helped us ensure that she would be able to take the bonTop® on and off herself,” says Laura Rao.

Family members also contributed ideas to the product. Laura's uncle, a quadriplegic, helped design a soon-to-be-released bonTop® called the “Maurice.” The “Maurice,” named for Laura's uncle, features a simpler men’s collar and a more casual look..

A young woman who suffered a sudden loss of function in college and her mother also participated in the company's focus group. "We so enjoyed spending time with them. They both have provided such helpful insights and ideas,” Helen says.

Maria asked for input from her parents, who reside in an assisted living community and wear the bonTop®s at every meal. Her parents helped with design of the pouch and weighed in on fabric choices.

The company tested the product's durability with residents who reside at a memory care facility. Residents tested the produce, which allowed for testing of the durability of the bonTop® after many washings.

BonTop® is

  • stylish

  • waterproof

  • stain resistant

  • easy to put on and off

  • washable

  • gender specific and

  • made in the USA.

The bib also features a catch-all signature pouch which has a removable support structure if the user prefers that it lay flat.

The company looks to the future, hoping to expand sales of the bonTops into senior communities, adult day facilities and online from their website, www.liveongoods.com. They also are branching out into new markets to reach young adults and teens with disabilities.

“We continue to create new designs and evaluate the popularity of each style and fabric,” Laura says. “Our priority is designing an effective product that you would be proud to wear.”

Check out www.liveongoods.com to see all the bonTop® designs and stylish fabric options.

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