7 Ways Family Caregivers Can Access Free or Loaned Durable Medical Equipment
As a family caregiver, you might be wondering how to get free medical equipment or adaptive aids. Purchasing these items can be expensive and may not always be feasible. Thankfully, there are organizations and programs that offer free or loaned durable medical equipment to assist caregivers in their important role. In this article, we'll explore different avenues for accessing such equipment and list some reputable resources that provide these services.
1. FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults and Children)
FODAC is a non-profit organization that aims to enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. They offer durable medical equipment approved by the FDA, such as wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs, bedside commodes, and more.
These items are available either for free or at affordable prices in their thrift store.
Visit their website to learn more: https://www.fodac.org/
Goodwill is a well-known charitable organization that provides vocational training and employment services. Many local Goodwill branches have medical equipment loan programs. Caregivers can borrow canes, crutches, and other equipment for free for a short time through these programs.
Find a Goodwill store near you and inquire about their medical equipment loan services.
3. Equipment Libraries
Several communities offer a medical equipment loan chest where individuals can borrow medical devices for a specified period of time. These equipment libraries often operate on a donation basis, and caregivers can find items such as commodes, bed rails, and lift chairs.
To find a loan closet for medical equipment nearby, search online or ask at senior centers, hospitals, or community centers. Google search "medical loan closet near me" with your zip code to quickly locate organizations in your area.
4. Digital Marketplaces & Support Groups
Online social platforms and online community groups provide an avenue for people to give away items in good working condition they no longer need. Caregivers can join these groups and post or respond to requests for free or discounted medical supplies and equipment. It's a great way to find individuals willing to share or loan items like walking aids, medical beds, or adaptive devices.
5. Churches and Religious Organizations
Many religious organizations have outreach programs that provide assistance to their community members. Some churches may maintain loan closets or have connections with local organizations offering free medical equipment. Reach out to your local religious organizations to see if they can help you access the equipment you need.
6. Senior Centers, Non-Profit Organizations and Advocacy Groups
Senior centers and non-profit agencies often have resources available for seniors and people with disabilities. They may have loaner medical equipment programs or know of other organizations that can help. Contact your local senior center or non-profit agencies that serve the elderly and disabled population to inquire about available resources.
Local advocacy groups like ALS Association and Alzheimer's Association may have local chapters in with programs for caregivers to borrow equipment. Depending on availability and geographic location, some groups may be able to provide assistive devices, hospital beds, wheelchairs, and more.
Find your local ALS Chapter here and your local Alzheimer's Chapter here.
7. Healthcare Facilities and Hospitals
Some hospitals and healthcare facilities have equipment loan closets where patients can borrow medical devices for a short period after surgery or treatment. While these may primarily cater to patients, caregivers might also find them helpful in certain situations. Check with your healthcare provider or local hospitals to see if they offer such services.