People often donate clothes or books they no longer need so others can use them, so why not donate durable medical equipment?
That’s the concept behind medical lending closets, independent organizations that offer used walkers, wheelchairs and other mobility and home healthcare equipment for individuals to borrow or rent at a reasonable cost.
Lending closets can be found nationwide through some churches, townships, community organizations and senior centers. Many have geographical boundary restrictions, though some are open to people from outside of their communities.
Elderwerks — a nonprofit organization based in Cary that helps connect older adults to senior housing, home care and support services — maintains a list of local lending closets on its website, elderwerks.org.
“Lending closets help seniors stay as healthy as possible at home,” says Jennifer Prell, Elderwerks’ president.
The concept is to reuse what’s available so individuals don’t have to purchase new equipment, which is especially helpful if they only need it for a short time, Prell says.