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Free Medical Equipment In California: How And Where To Get It

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Funding all the different services and equipment for the elderly can be very expensive, and impossible for some. So, here is a guide to how, and where, you can obtain free medical equipment in California for use in the home. Some of the equipment will be brand new and some of it will be used. I have put together a long list of sources for free home medical equipment, along with instructions on how to apply where necessary. 

You will see a list of contents with “quick links” so can just jump to the section that interests you the most.

You can get free medical equipment in California from –

 

  • the Ability Tools Assistive Technology Program
  • AT Exchange
  • reuse, recycling and refurbishing centers
  • loan or lending closets
  • independent living centers
  • free equipment listings online
  • Medicaid
  • Very cheap with Medicare, but not free
  • the VA
  • cheap from Goodwill stores
  • cheap from Salvation Army stores

Free medical equipment from Ability Tools, the State Assistive Technology Program

Access to used medical equipment (or used DME – durable medical equipment) and assistive technologies in California at the state level is coordinated by the California Assistive Technology Program – “ABILITY TOOLS” – with the assistance of a coalition of Reuse Programs at various Reuse Centers, Independent Living Centers, and  large nonprofit organizations all across California. This coalition of reuse programs is called the CATRC – The California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition. The members of the coalition work with ABILITY TOOLS to collect and refurbish used medical equipment, and to then help to re-allocate it to those in need.   ABILITY TOOLS and the  CATRC offer opportunities to –
  • borrow used medical equipment in the short term for free
  • borrow used medical equipment for longer periods of time for free
  • borrow used medical equipment indefinitely for free
  • get given used medical equipment for free
  • to buy used medical equipment at a very low cost
The loaned home medical equipment is given to those with the greatest need first.  

The Ability Tools AT Exchange

 

Ability Tools runs an Assistive Technology Exchange which can be accessed from their website, on which organizations can post used medical equipment and AT devices available for donation, exchange, loan, or sale, as well as requests for items a person needs, and where the public can also view what is available.

 

The Assistive Technology Exchange website can be found by going here – http://abilitytools.org/services/at-exchange-transition.php

 

The CATRC Reuse Programs, post their available inventory on the Assistive Technology Exchange website.

“The reuse programs accept donations of assistive technology devices and medical equipment, repair, and sanitize them, and then offer them to people with disabilities for free, or at low cost.” – Source here.

Ability Tools also has contracts with 12 agencies throughout California to run demonstration centers, and also lending libraries for AT devices which do short term loans of up to 30 days.

AT (Assistive Technology) devices include most DME – they are devices which help an individual to complete a task, which they otherwise cannot complete without the device.

You can find the demonstration centers and lending libraries on the Ability Tools website here.

 

Free medical equipment form the California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition

 

The CATRC website is here.

All the used medical equipment which has been collected by the CATRC is listed on the Ability Tools online AT Exchange.

You can access the  AT Exchange on the Ability Tools website (the Natads Public Access database) here,

or

on the homepage of the CATRC website where you will also find links to the AT Exchange to –

 

  • buy used medical equipment
  • sell used medical equipment
  • borrow used medical equipment
  • donate used medical equipment
  • place an ad for a particular type of equipment you need

 

The best way to find out about available equipment, and if you are eligible, is to contact the individual member organizations in your area to find out what equipment may be available to you, using the contact info I have listed with each organization below.

(There are other organizations which are part of the CATRC, but they do not deal with medical equipment, so I have not included them in the list of organizations below).

Select the nearest city to you to find your local CATRC Reuse Program –

The different CATRC Reuse Programs may prioritize members of their communities in different ways, or not.

Some programs will loan medical equipment, or sell it at a very low cost, or give it away for free to those in need, or all three.

 

ALS Association, Los Angeles Chapter

The greater Los Angeles chapter of the ALS Association (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) maintains a “loan closet” for their registered members.

Address:
P.O. Box 565
Agoura Hills, CA 91376-0565

Phone: 818 865 8067

Website:http://webgw.alsa.org/

 

DAYLE MCINTOSH CENTER (DMC) Reuse, Repair and Recycle Program DAYLE MCINTOSH CENTER (DMC) (Orange County)

The Dayle McIntosh Center’s reuse, recycle and repair program serves all residents of Orange County with disabilities.

The website page for their equipment loan program is here.

The list of items available is always in flux, but examples of the medical equipment include –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • walkers
  • canes
  • crutches
  • shower chairs
  • commode chairs
  • Hoyer lifts

 

Address:
501 N. Brookhurst Street, #102
Anaheim, CA 92801

Phone: 714 621 3300

Website: https://daylemc.org

 

You can either contact the program, or look on the AT Exchange to see what equipment they have available. 

 

INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTER OF KERN COUNTY (ILCKC)

Repair and Re-Use

This Repair and Re-Use Program is a loan and recycle program which makes wheelchairs and other assistive equipment available to people with disabilities.

The equipment is loaned out for free, and indefinitely.

The program loans DME such as –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • lifts
  • walkers
  • crutches

 

Address:
5251 Office Park Drive, Suite 200
Bakersfield, CA 93309

Phone: 661 325 1063

Website: https://ilcofkerncounty.org

Disability Action Center (DAC)

Disability Action Centers in Chico runs a DME recycling program which serves all residents of Shasta, Modoc, Siskiyou, Lassen, Butte, Tehama, Glenn, and Plumas Counties with a disability.

The equipment is cleaned, refurbished, and distributed for free to people in the community who need it.

The inventory includes items such as –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • walkers
  • canes
  • crutches
  • shower chairs
  • commode chairs
  • Hoyer lifts

 

You can contact them using the information below, and you can also see what is available on the AT Exchange website.

Address:
1161 East Avenue

Chico, CA 95926

Phone: 800 464 8527

Website: https://actionctr.org

Satellite Offices:

1600 West Street,

Redding, CA 96001

Phone: 530 242 8550

 

Independent Living Resources of Solano and Contra Costa Counties (ILR)

This reuse program is for seniors and people with disabilities in need of AT devices and DME, and who are financially unable to pay for it themselves.

The ILRSCC reuse program gives the equipment to the recipients for free. 

The devices include items such as –

  • manual wheelchairs
  • power wheelchairs
  • walkers

 

You can use the contact details below.

Address:

1850 Gateway Blvd, Ste. 170
Concord, CA 94520

Phone: 925 363 7293

Website: https://ilrscc.org

Satellite Offices:
301 West 10th Street,
#18 Antioch,
CA 94509

Phone: 925 754 0539

 

470 Chadbourn Road,
Suite B
Fairfield, CA 94534

Phone: 707 435 817

 

Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL)

 

The SCRS is an independent Living Center loaning used medical equipment for free to persons with disabilities in the the community.

 

The durable medical equipment loaned includes items such as –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • walkers
  • crutches
  • canes
  • rollators
  • portable commodes
  • transfer benches
  • sliding boards

 

To make enquiries, call one of the office numbers below, and ask for the AT Facilitator.

Website: https://scrs-ilc.org

Arcadia Office Address:
1165 Clark St,
Arcadia, CA 91006

Phone: 626 239 6012

Downey Office Address:
7830 Quill Drive, Ste D
Downey, CA 90242

Phone: 562 862 6531

Pasadena Office Address:
2023 Lincoln Ave,
Pasadena, CA 91103

Phone: 626 587 5010

 

Repair and Share Program RESOURCES FOR INDEPENDENCE CENTRAL VALLEY (RICV)

Repair & Share Program is a recycling and an equipment loan program.

The program will loan people with disabilities power wheelchairs on a temporary basis while they are acquiring a wheelchair of their own.

To enquire about a loan of a power wheelchair, call one of the offices below.

Address:
3008 North Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93703

Phone: 559 221 2330

Website: http://ricv.org

Satellite Offices:

710 West 18th St, #11
Merced, CA 95340
Phone: 209 383 1683

N. Santa Fe Ave,
Visalia, CA 93292
Phone: 559 622 9276

 

FREED Center for Independent Living (FREED)

 

The FREED Reuse Program both loans and gives equipment to people permanently.

Their program has DME such as –

  • wheelchairs
  • walkers
  • crutches
  • transfer benches
  • shower chairs
  • bedside commodes
  • raised toilet seats
  • hospital beds
  • patient lifts

 

To make enquiries about FREED, call at one of the office phone numbers below.

Grass Valley Office
Address:
435 Sutton Way,
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Phone: 530 477 3333

 

Yuba City Office

Address:
1100 Butte House Rd, Suite 120
Yuba City, CA 95991

Phone: 530 742 4474

Website: http://freed.org

 

Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (CALIF)

CALIF reassigns assistive technology devices, under the AT Reuse Capacity Building Grant, to those who can benefit from them.

The items reassigned include items such as –

  • durable medical equipment
  • communication devices
  • vision products
  • hearing products
  • mobility products
  • assistive devices

 

To make enquiries you can give them a call at the phone number below.

Address:
634 South Spring Street, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Phone: 213 627 0477

Website: https://califilc.webs.com 

 

Able People Foundation

The organization’s “Giving Program” identifies low income elderly, and individuals living with physical limitations, who are in need of medical equipment and who do not have the funding or insurance to cover it, and then get them that equipment.

 

The types of equipment that they give include –

  • ambulatory devices: walkers
  • manual wheelchairs in good condition
  • rehab wheelchairs in good condition
  • power wheelchairs with battery charger in working condition
  • electric mobility scooters in good condition with battery charger
  • transfer benches

 

To contact the foundation, you can use the contact details below.

Address:
552A Valley Way
Milpitas, CA 95035

Phone: 408 263 8000

Website: https://ablepeoplefoundation.org

ReCares (formerly Home Cares)

ReCares is an organization which collects gently used medical equipment, and also unused health care supplies.

The equipment is available to all, though those who need it the most will be served first, meaning the homeless, or uninsured.

 

ReCares has items such as –

  • commodes
  • crutches
  • toilet risers
  • cushions
  • blood pressure monitors
  • ice machines
  • diabetic test equipment
  • nebulizers
  • walkers
  • canes
  • adult briefs
  • shower chairs
  • tub/transfer benches
  • chux
  • and more

 

You can contact them on their website, or give them a call at the numbers below.

 

The main center is at –

2619 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: 510 251 2273

 

The website situation is a bit confusing, as they still have the website called “homecares.org” and a new one called “recares.net”, although the information is the same, and the homecares.org website has the ReCares logo at the top.

Website: http://homecares.org 

or    https://recares.net        

They also have satellite offices

The alleyway of 63 Dorland St
Dorland St
San Francisco,
CA 94110
Phone: 415 487-54053100

No website

 

Marin Medical Equipment Re-cyclers
3100 Kerner Blvd
San Rafael,
Ca 94901
Phone: 415 388 8198

Website: https://marinmer.org/

 

The Marin Medical Equipment Re-cyclers site has –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • companion chairs
  • transfer benches
  • shower chairs
  • orthopedic supports
  • blood pressure machines
  • nebulizers
  • canes
  • crutches
  • commodes
  • walkers
  • grabbers
  • wedge pillows
  • therapeutic cushions

 

They have the following medical supplies as well –

 

  • diapers
  • panty pads
  • bed pads
  • latex
  • vinyl gloves
  • wipes
  • and more

Note

At times, due to the pandemic the Marin location has been closed, so do call to check if it is open, or check on either website.

 

Convalescent Aid Society – CAS

CAS provides the free loan of wheelchairs, and other durable medical equipment for in-home use, to residents in Pasadena and its neighboring communities.

The equipment loan is available to anyone who lives in the CAS’s service area – see the map here.

There is also an application process, and you can find out about that here.

You can loan out medical equipment such as  –

 

 

  • hospital beds
  • bed trapezes
  • quad canes
  • canes
  • crutches
  • bedside commodes
  • raised toilet seats
  • bath chairs
  • transfer benches
  • walkers
  • rollators
  • wheelchairs
  • transport chairs

 

To make enquiries you can call the phone number below, or use the website.

Address:
3255 East Foothill Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91107

Phone: 626 793 1696

Website: https://www.convalescentaidsociety.com/

 

Community Access Center (CAC)

 

The Riverside Community Access Center has an equipment reuse program with –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • ramps
  • rollators
  • walkers
  • hearing aids
  • hospital beds
  • suction safety grips
  • visual aids for senior low vision program

 

To make enquiries about equipment phone the number listed below. 

Address:
6848 Magnolia Avenue, Suite 150
Riverside, CA 92506

Phone: 951 274 0358 x103

Website: https://ilcac.org

Easter Seals Superior California

 

Easter Seals Superior CA loans DME to residents in 13 counties after surgery – Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yubasuch – the loans are indefinite and free.

The group has 7 sites across California.

 

The medical equipment they loan out includes –

 

  • commodes
  • shower seats
  • crutches
  • walkers
  • wheelchairs

 

To make enquiries call the telephone number below.

Address:
3205 Hurley Way
Sacramento, CA 95864

Phone: 916 485 6711

Website: https://www.easterseals.com/superior-ca/

To see all their locations and contact info for the other 6 sites across California, look on their website here.

 

Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC)

SVILC loans assistive technology to people with disabilities to try it out before they buy a similar item.

To enquire you can contact them on the number below, or on their website.

Address:
25 N. 14th St. Suite 1000 (10th Floor)
San Jose, CA 95112

Phone: 408 894 9041 ext.204

Website: https://svilc.org

 

Physical Therapy For All

The majority of the organization’s rehabilitation equipment is donated to nonprofit organizations in Orange County and San Diego County.

Much of this equipment is reused and passed along free of charge to people without the financial resources to buy it themselves.

The medical equipment includes items such as –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • crutches
  • canes
  • walkers
  • braces

 

You can make enquiries on phone number below, or on their website.

Address:
31022 Via Mirador
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Phone: 949 735 9955

Website: https://www.ptforall.org

Assistive Technology Loan and Reuse (ATLR)

ATEC provides loans of  Assistive Technology devices so that individuals can test them out before they purchase a similar device.

Address:
1601 E. Saint Andrew Place, Ste 105
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Phone: 714 361 6200, ext.0

Website: https://www.ocgoodwill.org/programs/

 

Center For Independence of Individuals with Disabilities(CID)

CID gives donated home medical equipment  to disabled residents of San Mateo County.

CID gives out used DME such as –

 

  • stairlifts
  • porch lifts
  • elevators
  • wheelchairs
  • electric wheelchairs
  • electric scooters
  • walkers
  • canes
  • crutches
  • visual aids

 

You can contact CID on their phone numbers below, or via their website.

 

Address:
2001 Winward Way, Suite 103
San Mateo, CA 94402

Phone: 650 645 1780 x127

Website: https://cidsanmateo.org

Satellite Offices:
1590 El Camino Real, Suite C

San Bruno, CA 94066

Phone: 650 589 8994

 

Sonoma County Section on Aging

 

Sonoma County Section on Aging runs a medical equipment re-cycling program providing a variety of medical supplies and DME to the community for free.

 

They recycle equipment such as –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • walkers with seats
  • commodes
  • lightweight transport wheelchairs
  • shower benches and chairs

 

You can call them on the phone number below.

 

Address:

3000 Dutton Ave,

Santa Rosa, CA 95407

Phone: 707 360 2498

Website: https://www.medicalequipmentrecyclingprogram.com/

 

The Durable Medical Equipment Aid Society

 

The Durable Medical Equipment Aid Society loans used medical DME to individuals living in Los Angeles County who lack the financial resources, or insurance coverage, to access in-home DME for their rehabilitation, or recovery, from illness or injury. 

The DME includes the following items –

 

  • standard or bariatric manual wheelchairs
  • standard or bariatric transport chairs
  • front wheel walkers and rollator (seated) walkers
  • standard and bariatric commodes
  • raised toilet seats and risers
  • wheelchair ramps
  • patient lifts ie Hoyer lift type
  • bath transfer benches
  • shower/bath chairs
  • shower or bath grab bars
  • single point and quad point canes
  • bed rails
  • toilet rails
  • crutches

 

Phone: 818 298 9893
Website: http://www.thedme.org

Ability Tools Device Lending and Demo Centers program

 

Ability Tools operates a Device Lending and Demonstration Center program across the whole of  California.

12 agencies are contracted to provide “short term loans” of assistive technology devices which assist individuals to live independently – the loans last up to 30 days.

The Ability Tools website page is here.

Device Lending and Demonstration Centers are located in the cities listed below.

 

Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology

7601 East Imperial Highway,

Downey, CA 90242

Phone: 562 401 6813

Website: https://dhs.lacounty.govrancho/

 

FREED Center for Independent Living

435 Sutton Way,

Grass Valley, CA 95945

Phone: 530 477 3333

Website: https://freed.org

 

Community Services for Independent Living (CRIL)

439 A Street,

Hayward, CA 94541

Phone: 510 881 5743

Website: https://crilhayward.org

 

Disabled Resources Center, Inc. (DRC)

2750 E Spring Street, Suite 100

Long Beach, CA 90806,

Phone: 562 427 1000

Website: https://drcinc.org

 

Resources for Independent Living (RIL)

420 I Street, Level B, Suite 3

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916 446 3074

Website: https://ril-sacremento.org

 

California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC)

1000 G Street, #100

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 800 390 2699

Website: https://abilitytools.org

 

Central Coast Center for Independent Living (CCCIL)

318 Cayuga Street, Suite 208

Salinas, CA 93901

Phone: 818 757 2968 x32

Website: https://www.cccil.org

 

SDATC San Diego Assistive Technology Center (UCPSD)

8665 Gibbs Dr, # 100

San Diego, CA 92123

Phone: 858 278 5420 x120

Website: http://ucpdtechcenter.org

 

Independent Living Resorce Center San Francisco (ILRCSF)

825 Howard Street, Street Level

San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone: 415 543 6222

Website: https://www.ilrcsf.org

 

Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC)

25 N. 14th Street, Suite 1000

San Jose, CA 95112

Phone: 408 894 9041

Website: https://svilc.org

 

Central Coast Assistive Tecnology Center (CCATC)

11491 Los Osos Valley Rd #202

San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

Phone: 805 549 7420

Website: https://ccatc.org

 

Assistive Technology Exchnage Center (ATEC)

1221 East Dyer Rd, Suite 105

Santa Ana, CA 92705

Phone: 714 361 6200

Website: https://www.ocgoodwill.org/?s=assistive+technology+center

How to use the Ability Tools Assistive Technology Exchange

 

Anyone can register on the exchange and view what equipment is –

 

  • available
  • and under what conditions it is available
  • where it is available
  • what is available in the reuse center in their particular region

 

To do this, you go to the Ability Tools website here – 

http://abilitytools.org/services/at-exchange-transition.php

Next, you click on the link that I have shown in the image below to the NATADS PUBLIC ACCESS DATABASE, which is where the information is hosted.

 

 

You will see that there are two main sections –

  • Device Loan – view items for loan
  • Assistive Technology Reutilization

As in the image below –

 

 

The Device Loan

(on the left), is –

“to let potential AT users try-out devices prior to purchase, have a backup system when their device is in for repairs and/or have access to a device while waiting for their device to be delivered.”

You can browse this section to see what DME is available for 5 week maximum loans without joining, or logging in.

You see on the image below that there are a considerable number of items available.

 

 

In the image above I have the search set to “all locations in California”, but you can set it to your specific region and the reuse center which operates in that region.

It says, on the initial database page, that you can register an account and make a request for an item using the AT Exchange.

 

Assistive Technology Reutilization 

– this is the section on the right of the page as seen below.

 

 

In this section you can see all the different equipment which available at the different reuse sites for loan, sale, or for free – see the image below.

You have pretty much the same filters to streamline your search as in the Device Loan section seen above, and you can also see what is available in your region by changing the filters.

The results of searches will indicate if items are for “open ended loan”, for free, or if they have a price, and which reuse center the item is currently located at.

To make a request for equipment you have to be registered for an account with the Ability Tools AT Exchange, and you can also do that on the page shown above.

 

Free medical equipment from independent medical equipment reuse programs and  loan closets in California

Medical equipment loan closets in the San Diego Area

 

Cecily’s Closet – San Diego

Cecily’s closet is partnered with The UCP organization of San Diego to make equipment available to families who need it. The equipment is for children with special needs.

Once equipment has been donated it is posted on their facebook page, and you can see what is available there –

https://www.facebook.com/Cecilyscloset/

The text below is taken verbatim from the Cecily’s closet website –

“Cecily’s Closet encourages parents to make donated equipment available to families in need directly through the Cecily’s Closet website. The process is simple:

1) Send us a picture and a description of your item to info@cecilyscloset.org or post directly to the Cecily’s Closet page on Facebook.

2) Cecily’s Closet will post the item to FaceBook.

3) Once we find an interested party we ask the interested party to pick it up directly from the donor. This enables us to scale and recycle more equipment! “

Websitehttps://www.cecilyscloset.org/equipment-recycling.html

 

Medical equipment loan closets in the Los Angeles Area

 

Helping Hands Los Angeles Durable Medical Equipment Loan Closet

 

Website : https://www.helpinghandsla.org/how-we-help/care-coordination/medical-equipment/dme-loan-closet

Phone: 818 279 6580

The loan closets are a free community resource where seniors can borrow used medical equipment such as –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • power mobility equipment
  • crutches
  • canes walkers
  • beds
  • bathroom safety equipment

 

LA County, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and San Diego County are all served by the loan closet.

 

On the website there are no listings, so you will need to give them a call to find a a loan closet near you to borrow equipment.

“Depending on particular the loan closet, the equipment may be loaned out for a set period of time, for as long as the person needs it or, in some cases it may even be given away.”

The source of the text above is here –

https://www.helpinghandsla.org/how-we-help/care-coordination/medical-equipment/dme-loan-closet

 

Muscular Dystrophy Association

6167 Bristol PWKY Suite 325,

Culver City, CA 90230-6612

Phone: 310 390 6802

Website: https://www.mda.org/

This agency of the MDA in Culver City loans out wheelchairs, and helps with repairs, for individuals with one of forty neuromuscular diseases.

Medical equipment loan closets in the Santa Barbara Area

 

Buellton Senior Center Loan Closet 

This is a free loan closet which lends basic medical equipment to seniors.

They loan items such as –

  • crutches
  • canes
  • walkers
  • wheelchairs
  • bathroom safety equipment

 

The website is here.

Address:

Buellton Senior Center

164 West Hwy 246,

Buellton, CA 93427

Phone: 805 688 4571

 

The Wilshire Loan Closet or Riso Family Loan Closet  

The loan closet serves residents of San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties offering a free loans of durable medical equipment to those in need.

The items include medical devices such as –

  • crutches
  • canes
  • walkers
  • wheelchairs
  • bathroom safety equipment

The equipment is typically loaned for brief periods of time following injury, or surgery.

The information about enquiring can be found on the website here.

 

VNA Health Loan Closet Santa Barbara 

The VNA Health Loan Closet in Santa Barbara offers free short-term loans of durable medical equipment.

The loan closet only has smaller items of DME, not larger items such as hospital beds or patient lifts.

 

VNA Health Loan Closet

360 Olive St,

Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Phone: 805 690 6235

Website : https://vna.health/services/loancloset/

 

Medical equipment loan closets in the San Jose Area

 

AbleCloset 

This loan closet is for medical equipment and devices, for children with special needs.

They have equipment such as –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • standers

 

You can find out more on their website – https://ablecloset.com/

To contact AbleCloset about borrowing equipment use the email contact forms on this page of their website – https://ablecloset.com/contact/

 

Avenidas Medical Equipment Loan Closet

Avenidas has a medical equipment loan closet for those who are ill, or have an injury in the community in Palo Alto.

The loan closet DME items such as –

 

  • walkers
  • shower chairs
  • canes
  • other equipment

 

The website page for the loan closet is here – https://www.avenidas.org/medical-equipment-loan-closet-now-open/

The program is part of the Health and Wellness Program.

 

Address:

450 Bryant St,

Palo Alto, CA 94301

Website: https://www.avenidas.org/

Phone: 650 289 5400

 

sMedical equipment loan closets in the San Francisco Area

 

A Soldier’s Dove

This is a nonprofit organization in the SF Bay area which gifts sanitized and repaired gently used medical equipment, to those without insurance, or who are under-insured etc.

The types of medical equipment which they gift include –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • walkers
  • bedside commodes
  • shower chairs
  • wheelchair cushions
  • canes
  • quad canes
  • other bathroom safety equipment

 

To find out if you are eligible for their help, you can use the contact info below –

You can also email at – asoldiersdove@gmail.com

Websitehttps://www.soldiersdove.org/

Phone: 650 590 9111

 

 

NorCal SCI (Northern California Spinal Injury)

Here you will find used medical equipment which includes –

 

  • power wheelchairs (no older than 3 yrs)
  • manual wheelchairs
  • walkers

 

NorCal SCI posts donated medical equipment in their online gallery of 

free equipment here, and also gives equipment to individuals who have made a request for particular items, and are in need.

To request equipment you need to go to this website page here.

You can contact NorCal SCI by email –  info@norcalsci.org .

Website: https://norcalsci.org/

Phone: 408 458 9863

 

Medical equipment loan closets in the Napa Valley Area

 

Share the Care

3205 Montclair Ave,

Napa, CA 94558

Website: http://napavalleysharethecare.com/

 

Medical equipment loan closets in the Sacramento Area

 

ALS Association Of Greater Sacramento Loan Closet

The ALS Assoc. in Sacramento has loan closet of durable medical equipment available to ALS patients only.

The loan closet has such items as –

 

  • walkers
  • electric wheelchairs
  • manual wheelchairs
  • voice amplification devices

 

To find out more call –

Phone: 916 979 9265

 

Parkinson’s Association Sacramento Loan Closet

 

The loan closet is for Parkinson’s Assoc. members only.

 

You can borrow –

 

  • wheelchairs
  • scooters
  • hospital beds
  • shower equipment

 

To find out more call –

Phone: 916 489 0026

Free medical equipment online near me in California

 

On Craigslist, Freecycle, Used Home Medical Equipment (usedHME.com), and Facebook you can find free used medical equipment in your area – you can make the search as local as you would like.

Free used medical equipment near me on Craigslist

All you need to do is to type into your browser window “craigslist + your local city or county”.

As you can see below, when I typed in San Diego after Craigslist, I got Craigslist for San Diego.

 

The page below will load when you click on the search result in your browser for “Craigslist San Diego”.

 

 

Now, all you need to do is to look for the “for sale” header in center of the page, and you will see on its category list in between “Farm and Garden” and “Furniture”, “free” – just as you see it circled below.

 

 

Once you have clicked on “free” you will load a page full of all the listings for free stuff in your area.

 

 

To refine the search, just enter the type of equipment you are looking for into the search field which I have circled in the image below.

 

 

As an example I have entered “bedside commode”.

 

 

Once you have a result, as I did above, and you want to look at, just click on it, and it should open up, as in the image below.

 

 

If you like what you see,  just click on the “Reply” button which is top left above the title of the listing, to contact the owner.

After you click on it, there will be a couple of “Captcha” tests to prove you are not a robot, and then you’ll get the contact information of the owner.

Finding garage sales with used medical equipment near me, on Craigslist

  This, I know will not be free, but while I was on the topic of Craigslist, I wanted to throw this little tip in there. Craigslist also has a Garage Sale category of listing. It will show you all the local garage/yard sales in your area. You do a search in your local area (again I did craigslist san diego) and under the “for sale” section, in the different categories of items you will see “Garage Sales” between “furniture” and “general” – see below.  
  Click on “garage sale” and you will load those listings – it is a list of the garage sales in your area on any given day. You can change the day of your search by using the calendar in the left hand sidebar, so you can see what will be happening on the weekend, for example – see the image of the garage sales page below.  

 

With these listings people will tend to post quite a few photos of what they are selling, and if you browse the photos you are able to see if they are likely have anything that you are looking for. The time and location of the garage/yard sales are also listed on the same page as all the photos, and you can see all of that below.

 

 

Yard Sale Treasure Map

This app which displays all the Craigslist garage sales on a map to make it easier for you to navigate all those in your area on a given day.

There is a free version and a paid version.

Free Used Medical Equipment on FreeCycle.org

 

Freecycle.org is a website where items of all kinds are given away for free – it is all over the world.

On the site  –

  • you can see what is available in your area
  • you will see groups of people who are giving items away
  • you can pick groups to join in your area
  • request to join the groups
  • become a member of different groups
  • see if the groups have any free used medical equipment you are looking for
  • you can also post requests of “wanted” equipment in the groups that you have joined

 

You can join as many groups as will approve you as a member, and put up as many “wanted” posts for the used medical equipment as you need to.

 

Option 1

To begin you need to go to the website to find groups in your area, which you do here –

https://www.freecycle.org/find-towns

Before you enter your town or city, and state into the search field, you can also enter a search for any item you are looking for, in the search field at the top of the page, to see what is available in your area before you join. I have indicated it below.

 

 

A list of results with both the names of the items, and the town groups they are being offered by, will the load, as you can see below.

 

 

You can now click on either  –

 

  • the name of the item – this will load a photograph of it etc

or

  • the name of the town where the group is, which will load the page below with the list of images of everything which is available in that group, and also a row of navigation buttons for surrounding towns

 

I like to click on the town name, the second option above, as this allows you to –

(a) see the quality of all the items in that group

(b) check other groups nearby very quickly and easily, by clicking on the towns tabs under the “Nearby Towns” heading – you can see all of this in the image below.

 

 

If you like an object you see, you need to join the group in which the object is being offered, and also register on Freecycle if you are not a member.

If you click on the item title, you will get the information about it, and who it is being offered by.

You will see the tab  “Become a member” (that is for the group), but if you are not a member of Freecycle yet, you will see a large green “sign up with email” button, which you should click on to register with Freecycle.

 

 

You can join either with your email, or through a facebook membership if you have one.

Once signed up, you should see that your group membership is pending approval – you just have to wait, and the length of the delay will depend on the admins for that particular group.

Once you have signed up to Freecycle,  you can join all the groups that you want to and post requests for wanted equipment with each of them.

 

Option 2

If you want to join groups in your area without browsing to see what they have, you can either type the name of the town where you are looking to join groups into the “Find a Town” input field, or click on the map view and select a town from there which has a group.

 

 

In both the “list view” and the “map view”, once you have a group that you want to join, you have to click on the big green “join” button.

You will then be asked to either –

 

  • login, if you are a member already of Freecycle

or to

  • sign up if you are not a member of freecycle

 

 

Once  “signed up”, you will see that your membership of the group that you selected is pending approval.

Once your membership of the group has been approved, you can contact the owner of the item you wanted, or post a “wanted” post for the item you are looking for.

Members can post what they are offering and also can put up request posts for what the want.

As I said earlier, you can join as many of the groups as you wish – they just have to approve your request for membership.

 

Used medical equipment for sale or free, near me on usedHME.com

 

Used Home Medical Equipment is a “free listing service where people can, buy sell or donate.”

The service works by zip code, so that you can find offers from people local to where you live, and you can set the distance from your zip code that you want for the search.

There is a lot of equipment which is free.

 

Go to the website here –

http://usedhme.com

 

Select the primary menu navigation button – ” Find Purchase Equipment”

 

 

This will load the page below, where you can choose a category of used medical equipment – as you see below.

Click on the category you want to find free stuff in.

 

 

This will then load a page where you need to enter your zip code, and also the distance you are willing to travel from your zip code to get your equipment – i.e. the size of your search area. 

You can see that in the image below.

 

 

After you have entered your zip code and size of the area of your search, you will get a page of listings with all the items, the price and the owners’ locations – town and state – and their phone numbers.

A lot of these items are free, and there is a lot of equipment available.

You can make contact with the person offering the item that you want and take it from there – the website does not act as a go between, it works like a newspaper listing.

Free used medical equipment in California on Facebook

 

With a Facebook account, you have the possibility of finding free items –

 

  • in buying and selling groups
  • on the Facebook Marketplace

 

Buying and Selling Groups and the Facebook Marketplace are not at all the same thing !!!

Let’s start with Facebook Buying and Selling Groups

 

To find buying and selling groups you need to –

 

1. To have a Facebook account and to sign into it.

2. In the main Navigation Menu at the top of the page click on the group icon, or in the left hand sidebar menu – it gets the same result. You can see the blue group icon below in the Facebook primary navigation menu.

 

 

3. Next, go to the “Discover” menu tab in the lefthand sidebar menu and click on that – you can see it indicated below

 

 

This will load a page like the one below full of groups in your area.

 

 

4. These are all kinds of groups, so you now need to bring up only buying and selling groups.

Go to the categories carousel which I have shown below (it is in the center of the page), and click on “buy and sell”.

 

 

This will load a page full of different groups of people buying and selling on facebook in your area.

 

5. Take a look at the different groups and join as many as you want – the more you join the greater your chance of finding free DME items.

The groups will have to approve your memberships, and the speed depends on the individual groups and their admins.

6. Once you are a member of a group to see the group’s listings, you go to the “groups page” and select a group from the lefthand sidebar, as I have indicated on the left below.

7. This loads the timeline of the group with all the items available, as in the image on the right below, and you will see that the free items will be marked 0$.

8. If you find an item you want, just click on either the name of the person offering the item, or on the photo, and both will load the link to message that person about the listing.

Finally, you can also see all your listings from all your groups if you go to the Marketplace and select the “Buy and Sell Groups” menu tab in the sidebar. I will explain where that is in the next section on the Facebook Marketplace.

 

 

To use the Facebook Marketplace to find free equipment –

Facebook Market place is quite simply an online listing page where anyone who has a facebook account can post a listing to sell, or to give away an item.

You do not need to be in buying and selling groups to use the Marketplace.

But, you will see that you can do some things on Marketplace which will simultaneously go onto your buying and Selling Group listings if you want them to. More about that in a minute.

So, here’s how it works…

1. You need to go to the Marketplace – there are two links which I have shown in the images below –

If you are on your timeline, you will just have the main navigation option on the right

If you are on your homepage, you will have the lefthand menu tab, shown below on the left, and also the primary navigation button shown below on the right.

 

 

Once you have clicked on one of the Marketplace menu tabs, you will load a page full of “Todays Picks”, as you can see below.

 

 

In the left hand side bar there are a bunch of filters that you can use to refine your searches.

The important ones for looking for free equipment are –

 

  • sales within a certain distance (goes up to 500 km)
  • buy and sell groups
  • free stuff

 

The first filter, sales within a certain distance, is where you pick the distance you are willing to travel to get what you find, and facebook will show you everything within that distance from your location.

The second “Buy and Sell Groups” will show you all the stuff that is on offer in your buying and selling groups that you have joined. This is what I was talking about earlier, when I explained that although Marketplace and groups are separate entities, you can see what is available in all your selling groups from the Marketplace, in one go. Of course the Marketplace “free stuff” category below is not just limited to the groups you are in, and neither are all the items for sale.

The third is “free stuff”, and if you click on that you will get all of listings for free items within the distance from your location that you set with the first filter.

When I went on there today there was actually an electric hospital bed for free, which I have not seen before, but it shows that you can find some very good equipment.

Unfortunately, you cannot select two filters at the same time and see the free stuff in all of your groups together at once.

If you find an item you would like to accept and pick up, you simply click on it, and next to the photograph of the item you will have the message tab which you simply click on and then contact the person who listed the item.

Getting free medical equipment with Medicaid in California

 

The Californian version of the federal Medicaid program is called Medi-Cal, and its purpose is to provide medical coverage to those with the lowest incomes. For many individuals the coverage is free, and for some it is low-cost health coverage. In California the lead agency for Medi-Cal is the Department of Health Care Services – here. Everyone with Medi-Cal is covered for 10 “essential health benefits”, one of which is physical and occupational therapy and “devices” ie medical equipment. You will be covered if  – 
  • the medical equipment or device is medically necessary
  • is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner
  • and the equipment meets your medical needs
  For the purposes of Medi-Cal program Durable Medical Equipment includes items such as wheelchairs, canes, crutches, grab bars, walkers, hospital beds oxygen therapy equipment, augmentative communication devices and more.  You can read more about that in “Obtaining Assistive Technology through Medi-Cal” here. And in “An Advocate’s guide to Medi-Cal Service, January 2020, here.  

Medi-Cal Programs specifically targeting the elderly and the disabled

  The Department of Health Care Services also  has programs called Medic-Cal waivers which are adapted to target specific groups in the population, or groups in particular areas of a state. There are a number of  Medi-Cal waivers, which are of particular interest to us, and which provide home and community based services and typically will cover the purchase of a wider range  Durable Medical Equipment or Assistive Devices which are prescribed as “medically necessary” by the beneficiary’s medical provider and even some home modifications, for free. These programs are also known as HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) programs or waivers, and are primarily designed to allow the participants to maintain their independence in their own home, and to not have to live in a nursing facility. The programs all have a limited number of places, so it is not always possible to participate in a program straight away, and should this be the case, if a person is eligible they will be placed on a waiting list.   The waivers are the following – Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver – you can read more about that here. Self-Determination Program – you can find out more about this here. The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) Waiver – you can read more about that here. All three waivers will allow for the purchase of equipment and devices which will allow the program participant to continue living in their own home.   Sources for this section on Medi-Cal – Obtaining Assistive Technology Through Medi-Cal – https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/system/files/file-attachments/558301.pdf Medi-Cal waivers – https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/Pages/Medi-CalWaivers.aspx The California Department of Health Care Services – https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/    

If your income is just too high for Medicaid what can you do ?

 

The Spend Down and similar programs

Medicaid Spend Down, and other similar programs, are designed to assist a person in reducing their income and asset levels, so that they may be come eligible for Medicaid, HCBS’s and waivers.

“Spend Down” has two models of program  –

  • Income Spend Down
  • Asset Spend Down

“Income Spend Down”model I will be looking at here.

If in your case your assets are too high, or both your assets and income are too high, then you need to look into “Asset Spend Down”, and luckily it is present in all states.

Income Spend Down

“Spend Down” programs are also be known as “Surplus Income”, “Share of Cost”, “Excess Income” and “Medically Needy”, in different states but are not present in all.

The programs help a person reduce their income by allowing them to deduct their medical costs from their income, and if as a result the income level drops below the Medicaid eligibility limit, the person qualifies for Medicaid and state run programs.

You will find a complete article on the “Paying for Senior Care” website here, and another good article about this on the US News website here.

What medical equipment does Medicare cover ?

 

Original Medicare Part B will, with certain stipulations, cover some items of durable medical equipment for use in the home. Durable medical equipment is medical equipment which can be used in the home, and which is able to withstand repeated use over a sustained period of time. Medicare considers durable medical equipment to be items such as wheelchairs, bedside commodes, walkers, or hospital beds. Medicare doesn’t, in general, cover supplies which are disposable.

 

When is Durable Medical Equipment covered by Medicare ?

 

Original Medicare is made up of parts A and B.

Medicare Part A covers treatment in skilled nursing facilities, and any equipment used in the facilities, including DME for short term stays.

Medicare Part B covers outpatient and home health services, including “durable medical equipment”.

 

Durable Medical Equipment is covered by Medicare Part B, for “use in the home”, only if

 

  • it is prescribed as “medically necessary” by a Medicare-enrolled Physician “or treating provider (like a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or clinical nurse specialist)”
  • certain DME may demand extra documentation of the medical necessity of the equipment. Source : https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11045-Medicare-Coverage-of-DME.PDF
  • the equipment must also be acquired (purchased or rented), through a Medicare-enrolled supplier to qualify for coverage

 

Even when you have fulfilled these criteria, you can still slip up on the amount you pay fro the equipment, and I will outline how not to fall foul of the system later.

 

Medicare’s basic criteria for DME

Medicare doesn’t just cover any DME.

DME  has to meet these criteria for it to be covered by Medicare:

 

  • durable (it must be able to withstand repeated use over a sustained period of time)
  • used for a medical reason, as opposed to for comfort
  • not usually useful to someone who isn’t sick or injured
  • used in your home
  • has an expected lifetime of at least 3 years

 

So if the equipment you are looking at doesn’t meet these criteria, you probably won’t be able to get it covered by Medicare.

Medicare does not cover items it considers “not medical in nature”, or “comfort items”, and this includes a lot of bathroom safety equipment such as –

  • grab bars
  • raised toilet seats
  • toilet safety frames

 

What you pay on DME for “use in the home” when you have Medicare Part B

 

Typically, if, as I wrote earlier, you have a prescription for your DME from a Medicare-enrolled doctor, stating that your DME is “medically necessary” according to the Medicare guidelines, Original Medicare Part B will cover 80% of the cost of your DME.

You will pay your 20% co-payment, and if it applies, you also pay your annual deductible.

It is very important to understand that Medicare Suppliers who are enrolled in the Medicare Program, don’t have to accept the Medicare-approved price, if they do not wish to.

In such cases, Medicare Part B will pay the Medicare-approved price for the equipment to the supplier for your equipment, but if the supplier’s price is higher, you will end up paying the 20% co-payment of the Medicare-approved price, and the difference between the Medicare-approved price and the suppliers price (which can be up to 15% more), and not just the 20% co-payment of the Medicare-approved price.

I will go into how to avoid such problems later.

 

How much can you potentially save with Medicare Part B ?

 

I do of course understand that Medicare is not free, but if you can get equipment covered to 80 % of the Medicare-approved price, that will make it a lot easier to afford it.

There is not much point doing this on smaller items, unless you have paid the annual deductible as it is several hundred dollars.

If you have not paid your annual deductible, you have to figure that in as well, and it is less interesting, but if you want a large item such as a hospital bed, patient lift, or motorized wheelchair it may well be worth your while.

 

Let’s take a look at how much this can save you on your purchases with Medicare Part B.

Firstly, when you also have to pay your annual deductible,. and secondly when you have already paid it on another item, or treatment, and do not have to pay it again.

Medicare Part B’s deductible is only paid once a year, which is why I am saying that a purchase of equipment is financially more interesting if you don’t have to pay your Part B annual deductible, which is after all $203.00 as of 2021. 

So…let’s imagine you have been approved by Medicare for an $800.00 (Medicare-approved price) hospital bed (bought through a Medicare “Participating” Supplier), even if you have not yet paid your annual deductible for Medicare Part B, the bed will cost you –

Example 1 : – Note this is if you have not yet paid you annual deductible –

 

20% of $800.00 (your co-insurance payment) = $160

Your annual deductible = $203.00 in 2021

This makes a total of  = $363.00

So you make a saving of  $437.00 

 

Example 2 : -Note this is if you have already paid your deductible for Medicare Part B –

Again, if you have been approved by Medicare for an $800.00 (Medicare-approved price) hospital bed (bought through a Medicare “Participating” Supplier), but you have paid your annual deductible for Medicare Part B, the bed will cost you –

 

20% of $800.00 (your co-insurance payment) = $160

 

So you make a saving of $640.00

Note: on larger objects you will most likely be renting the equipment on a monthly basis, and this means that you will be paying smaller amounts as a monthly rental.

 

So how do you can get the best deal on Medicare covered DME ?

 

Medicare-enrolled suppliers fall into two camps –

  • Medicare Suppliers
  • Medicare “Participating” Suppliers

The Medicare “Participating” Suppliers have accepted what is known as “assignment”.

This means that they have agreed to charge the Medicare-approved price only.

When you buy your DME from a Medicare “Participating Supplier” you will not be paying more than the 20% co-payment of the Medicare-approved price for the equipment.

If your supplier is a not a “participating” supplier this means that they have agreed to take payment from Medicare, but that they don’t have to accept “assignment” if they don’t want to.

To get DME at the lowest price through Medicare, you must make sure that your supplier is Medicare-approved and that they accept “assignment”, prior to doing anything else.

 

How much will I pay ?

 

If your supplier is a “participating” supplier, meaning they accept assignment, you will  pay your co-insurance 20% of the medicare-approved price, and your annual deductible if that has not been paid in that year of coverage.

Prices may vary somewhat as Medicare rents, as well as buys, equipment from suppliers.

If you are on a Medicare Advantage plan you will need to check with your plan.

List of DME typically covered by Medicare

 

In addition to Durable Medical Equipment, there is Medicare Part B covers Prosthetics and Corrective Lenses for certain conditions. Those items here as well.

DME

Air-Fluidized Bed
Alternating Pressure Pads and Mattresses
Audible/visible Signal Pacemaker Monitor
Pressure reducing beds, mattresses, and mattress overlays used to prevent bed sores
Bead Bed
Bed Side Rails
Bed Trapeze – covered if your loved one is confined to their bed and needs one to change position
Blood sugar monitors
Blood sugar (glucose) test strips
Canes (however, white canes for the blind aren’t covered)
Commode chairs
Continuous passive motion (CPM) machines
Continuous Positive Pressure Airway Devices, Accessories and Therapy
Crutches
Cushion Lift Power Seat
Defibrillators
Diabetic Strips
Digital Electronic Pacemaker
Electric Hospital beds
Gel Flotation Pads and Mattresses
Glucose Control Solutions
Heat Lamps
Hospital beds
Hydraulic Lift
Infusion pumps and supplies (when necessary to administer certain drugs)
IPPB Machines
Iron Lung
Lymphedema Pumps
Manual wheelchairs and power mobility devices (power wheelchairs or scooters needed for use inside the home)
Mattress
Medical Oxygen
Mobile Geriatric Chair
Motorized Wheelchairs
Muscle Stimulators
Nebulizers and some nebulizer medications (if reasonable and necessary)
Oxygen equipment and accessories
Oxygen Tents
Patient Lifts (a medical device used to lift you from a bed or wheelchair)
Percussors
Postural Drainage Boards
Quad-Canes
Respirators
Rolling Chairs
Safety Roller
Seat Lift
Self-Contained Pacemaker Monitor
Sleep apnea and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and accessories
Sitz Bath
Steam Packs
Suction pumps
Traction equipment
Ultraviolet Cabinet
Urinals (autoclavable hospital type)
Vaporizers
Ventilators
Walkers
Whirlpool Bath Equipment – if your loved one is homebound and the pool is medically needed. If your loved one isn’t homebound Medicare will cover the cost of treatments in a hospital.

 

Prosthetic and Orthotic Items

Orthopedic shoes only when they’re a necessary part of a leg brace
Arm, leg, back, and neck braces (orthotics), as long as you go to a supplier that’s enrolled in Medicare
Artificial limbs and eyes
Breast prostheses (including a surgical bra) after a mastectomy
Ostomy bags and certain related supplies
Urological supplies
Therapeutic shoes or inserts for people with diabetes who have severe diabetic foot disease.

 

Corrective Lenses

Prosthetic Lenses
Cataract glasses (for Aphakia or absence of the lens of the eye)
Conventional glasses or contact lenses after surgery with insertion of an intraocular lens
Intraocular lenses

Important: Only standard frames are covered. Medicare will only pay for contact lenses or eyeglasses provided by a supplier enrolled in Medicare, no matter who submits the claim (you or your supplier).

Free medical equipment for veterans

 

If you are a veteran, or you are caring for a Veteran, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has many different grants, programs and forms of financial assistance which are available to cover the cost of DME’s and also Home Care Supplies.

Veterans are entitled to receive their healthcare under the VA Medical Benefits Package.

By law, the VA has to provide hospital care, and outpatient care services, that are defined as “needed”, to eligible veterans.

The VA defines “needed” as a care, or a service, which promotes, preserves or restores health.

Veterans can find out about their local VA Medical Centers and different clinics and offices in each state here.

 

Here are just some of the different forms of assistance for veterans –

 

  • Tricare for life – a supplemental insurance policy which covers the 20% con insurance payment on DME with Medicare
  • Tricare – if you have Tricare it will cover most DME for use in the home, so long as it is prescribed by a doctor as “medically necessary, but like Medicare Part B it sticks to the most basic models and doesn’t cover items with lots of extra features
  • Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services – these programs are designed to help veterans to stay living in their own homes, and if the DME is deemed by a doctor to be “medically necessary”. Veterans participating in these programs will also be directing the way their budget is spent, and they have somewhat more flexibility in choosing which patient lift or hospital bed they buy
  • ChampVA for Life – this program is for 65’s and over who are family members of veterans who died in the course of their duties, or who were permanently disabled – it covers the beneficiary’s Medicare co-pays and deductibles

Where to ask about free medical equipment in your neighborhood

 

If you are still having trouble finding any free medical equipment, you could try some of the following locations in your neighborhood –

 

  • Your local Area Agency on Aging
  • Lions Clubs
  • Rotary Clubs
  • Local church communities

 

Area Agencies on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging are private or public nonprofit agencies appointed by the state to provide services to help adults over the age of 60, their families and their caregivers. The Agencies help people find the information, assistance and services that they need in the community – it is all geared towards helping the elderly to maintain their independence and to remain living in their own homes. So, your local Area Agency on Aging is an excellent place to start asking questions about where you may be able to find free medical equipment, where there may be loan closets for DME, or cheap thrift stores selling gently used equipment. There is a locator tool to help you find an agency near you on the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and can be found here.  

Lions Clubs

The Lions run many different charitable programs, and many run community loan closets for home medical equipment. You can find a club near you, and ask if they have a loan closet, or if they know of other clubs in your area who have one. I have an illustrated guide explaining how to very quickly find a Lions Club near you, which you can read here.  

Rotary Clubs

The Rotary organization, just like the Lions organization, does a huge amount of charity work, and runs many programs through its clubs. It’s a good idea to locate a club near you and ask if they knows of clubs, or other organizations, in your area that have free loan closets for medical equipment. To do so you can use their club locator tool. I have an illustrated guide on how to locate a Rotary Club near you, that you can read here – it’s a very quick and easy read.  

The Catholic Charities  of California

The Catholic Charities of California provide a huge number of services to the poor. A large part of their work is providing different programs –
  • helping low income families to enroll in healthcare plans
  • food programs
  • nutrition programs
  • legal assistance programs for illegal immigrants
  • disaster management programs
  • emergency preparedness,
  • an outreach program to mitigate the spread of Covid 19 through educating the communities who have been the hardest hit by the virus
  • A lot of work is done in outreach to help poorer families find the services they need, so they are very much feet on the ground, and know what is available in your area.
If you are wondering where to find free medical equipment, or other services, you can always ask the Catholic Charities for information. The Catholic Charities have centers all over California, and you can find all of them here – https://catholiccharitiesca.org/where-we-operate/ You can always call and ask a question.

 

Your local church or faith communities

Another great resource is going to be churches in your neighborhood, and the communities around those churches should have lots of information about where you may beable to find items for free.

Many churches have their own independent loan closets which offer DME loans for free, and are really only advertized in small news bulletins put out by those churches.

Where to get cheaper medical equipment in California ?

 

This section is all about where to get “cheaper” DME – I know that it’s not free, and it won’t be new, but it will cost a lot less than new equipment.

 

Goodwill stores selling used medical equipment in California

 

These stores are obviously not free, but they do sell “gently used” medical equipment, and the proceeds go to employing their staff who may have challenging conditions which make it difficult to find decent employment.

Not all Goodwill stores sell used medical equipment, but a good number do.

You can use the appropriate link below to a store locator for your area, and then contact the stores near you.

 

Goodwill store locations in Southern California

If you live in Southern California the Goodwill Southern California Organization website locator can be used to find a store in your area, which you will find here –

https://www.goodwillsocal.org/shop/goodwill-locator/

You just enter your zip code and the distance from your zip code within you wish to search.

 

Goodwill store locations in Silicon Valley

Goodwill operates 18 stores in Santa Clara County and surrounding areas.
You can use their locator too here –

https://goodwillsv.org/store-locations/

On this tool you enter your address and press find – theres is also a list of all the stores on the page as well.

 

Goodwill store locations in the San Francisco area

The site serves San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin County.

On the website at the page below there is locator tool and, underneath that there is a list of all the stores.

You can find that webpage here-

https://sfgoodwill.org/find-a-store/

You can either enter your address into the locator search fields or look at the list below of the different stores – there are not that many – I found it quicker just to read the list.

 

Goodwill store locations in Northern California

Goodwill has 37 stores in the Sacramento Northern California area.

The website page to locate a store near you is here – https://www.goodwillsacto.org/store-locations/

You have a choice of either –

 

  • scrolling through the list to the left of the grid map/ satellite photo
  • or, entering your address, or zip code, in the tiny “Search by Location” field (it is on the top of the list of shop locations and remarkably easy to miss)

and it will pull up the store nearest to you.

 

Salvation Army stores also sell used medical equipment in California

 

The Salvation Army has stores all over the US where you can buy used medical equipment  – in most stores.

To find a Salvation Army thrift store near you go to the website page below –

https://satruck.org/ThriftStore

 

You just have to enter your zip code and map view and list of stores in you area will load to your screen.

 

Thrift stores selling used home medical equipment in California

 

I have a an article used medical equipment in California has lists of the thrift stores which sell used medical equipment.

Do be warned though that there is no guarantee of the quality of used medical equipment that you buy from a lot of these thrift stores, and you are buying the items at your own risk.

Always check to see if the equipment has been professionally refurbished, or if you are buying it “as is”, and whether or not the thrift store accepts liabilities if it breaks during use.

You can find the article with the thrift stores selling used medical equipment here – The Ultimate Guide To Used Medical Equipment In California

In conclusion

  There are many options here, and hopefully you will find something that will help you out. If you don’t qualify for anything free, or have a loan closet near you, then I would start with the Goodwill thrift stores as they do, typically, refurbish equipment and don’t sell anything which is not safe to use.  

Articles you may also like …

  The Ultimate Guide To Used Medical Equipment In California   Where To Donate Used Medical Equipment in California ?   Where To Donate Used Medical equipment in Los Angeles: The Complete Guide  

I’m Gareth and I’m the owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com

I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.

Gareth Williams

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