Recently we had a small gathering of those who have lost their loved ones to Lewy Body Dementia and Corticobasal Degeneration. Out of that gathering came a request to share details on giving away used caregiving equipment or items. In addition to sharing that list with the attendees of that gathering, we also thought we’d share it with our local Brain Support Network. Thanks to two social worker friends– Susan Weisberg and Ann Blick Hamer — for some of the resources below.
This resource list was put together by Brain Support Network volunteer Denise Dagan.
Bay Area Organizations to Donate Equipment/Supplies and to Borrow Equipment
All organizations on this list both accept donations of, and loan medical equipment and caregiving items. It is always advisable to call before stopping by to see if they are accepting what you have to donate, or have what you are looking for.
Oftentimes, medical equipment is either purchased, or rented, through Medicare. At the end of use, rented items are returned to the equipment supplier. Purchased items may be donated or sold, although Medicare discourages selling medical equipment provided through your Medicare insurance, for profit.
450 Bryant St., Palo Alto
They accept and loan all kinds of durable medical equipment, even personal care items (bath benches, toilet risers, commodes, etc.) You do not have to be a member to donate or borrow from their loan closet.
All loans are free, however there is a $25 refundable deposit for wheelchair loans.
2. Los Altos Senior Center
They accept and loan wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. Items can be checked out for three-month intervals after signing a release of liability form.
3. Redwood City Veteran’s Memorial Senior Center
They accept and loan canes, walkers and wheelchairs for free, Monday–Friday during business hours. No personal care items.
4. Check with your city’s senior center to inquire if they have a loan closet. By the way, the Mountain View Senior Center does not have a loan closet.
1. Covenant Presbyterian Church
670 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto
Contact Heather (M-F, 10:00a-2:30p)
They accept and loan all kinds of durable medical equipment, even personal care items. Release of liability form and contact information required.
2411 Pulgas Ave., East Palo Alto
They accept and loan all kinds of medical equipment and supplies. No personal care items.
3. Some churches, like Los Altos United Methodist Church, keep a loan closet for members only. Check with your local churches to see what they might have available for your neighborhood.
ORGANIZATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES:
Many of these organizations are members of Ability Tools (formerly AT Network), California’s Assistive Technology Act Program, which connects Californians with disabilities to the devices and services they need to live independently. abilitytools.org/services/reuse-programs.php
16495 Topping Way, Los Gatos
Accepts donations of all kinds of disability equipment. Tax receipts available. An application is required for borrowing.
2. Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID), cidsanmateo.org
2001 Winward Way, Suite 103, San Mateo
1590 El Camino Real, Suite C, San Bruno
They accept and loan all kinds of durable medical equipment. Serving residents of San Mateo County. Membership is $10. Excellent resource for home modifications, as well.
3. Independent Living Resources of San Francisco, ilrcsf.org
825 Howard Streed, San Francisco
They accept donations and loan all manner of assistive devices, from high tech to canes and crutches.
Dorland Street, San Francisco
2619 Broadway, Oakland
3100 Kerner Blvd., San Rafael
ReCARES collects and redistributes donations of clean, gently used medical equipment and unused home health care supplies.
2202 N. First St., Main Branch
7881 Church Street, Suite C, Gilroy
Their lending library accepts donations and loans all kinds of assistive devices, from high tech to canes and crutches for up to 30 days. Membership in the AT Exchange offers an online forum for buying and selling used devices.
An excellent resource for home modifications, as well.
6. Volunteers for Inter-American Development Association (VIDA), vidausa.org
1519 63rd Street, Emeryville
Accepts donations of medicines, medical supplies and equipment donated by Bay Area hospitals, clinics and individuals to serve underprivileged communities in Latin America. No personal care items (bath benches, toilet risers, commodes, etc.).
1. John Muir Health, Medical Equipment Loan Program
1220 Rossmoor Parkway, Walnut Creek
They accept donations of wheelchairs, bedside commodes, transfer benches, bath benches and chairs, canes, walkers, and walker accessories. They loan these items to patients and community residents for up to 90 days free of charge.
2. Check with your medical center to see if there is a loan closet available. These are usually operated by the center’s volunteer program.
Contact your local support group leader to see if you can bring items you want to give away to the next support group meeting. Some group leaders will send out an email about equipment you are giving away. Some non-profit support groups, such as Brain Support Network (brainsupportnetwork.org
), offer tax receipts to donors if the item is large and request that new recipients of equipment make a charitable contribution, if they are able.
You can post items you need or to donate locally on either Freecycle (freecycle.org) or nextdoor.com