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Free Medical Equipment in San Jose: How And Where To Get It

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For those of you looking for free home medical equipment in San Jose, I have put together an article full of organizations which distribute free medical equipment in, and around, San Jose, online websites where you can get free equipment from other private individuals near you, places to buy used equipment, along with instructions on how to apply where necessary.

 
In San Jose, you can get free home medical equipment from –

  • the Ability Tools Assistive Technology Program
  • AT Exchange
  • reuse, recycling and refurbishing centers
  • community medical equipment loan closets
  • centers for independent living
  • free equipment listings online
  • social media sites online
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare, but not free
  • the VA

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

 

California’s state program responsible for assistive technology is “ABILITY TOOLS”. It is responsible for developing access for the community to “assistive technology devices”.

Assistive technology devices are devices which help you to accomplish tasks of daily living, which you otherwise could not accomplish. Durable medical equipment is considered to be covered by this definition, and all the standard equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, canes, living aids etc.

Ability Tools contracts with a coalition of “Reuse Programs” called the CATRC – The California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition, to help it achieve a large part of its work.

The CATRC coalition members collect, refurbish and re-distribute used medical equipment to individuals in need.

 

ABILITY TOOLS offers to those in need –

  • free short term loans home medical equipment
  • free long short term loans of home medical equipment
  • lend home medical equipment indefinitely for free
  • an opportunity to purchase refurbished home medical equipment at a very low cost, if they don’t qualify for free equipment

Ability Tools gives equipment to those with the greatest need first.

The Ability Tools AT Exchange

 

Ability Tools, as well as the lending services and device demonstration, has an online Assistive Technology Exchange.

The inventory of used medical equipment and AT devices available, is posted by the participating CATRC members, so everyone can see what is available.

The public can view what is on the AT Exchange as well.

The Assistive Technology Exchangehttp://abilitytools.org/services/at-exchange-transition.php

“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.

If you want to know more and see instructions on how to use the AT Exchange, go to my article “Free Medical Equipment In California: How And Where To Get It”, where you will find a section on how to use the Ability Tools AT Exchange.

Free medical equipment from the California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition

 

The CATRC website is here.

To find out if you qualify for free, or low cost durable medical equipment on a loan or a permanent basis, just contact the CATRC center in your area.

Below, I have listed the CATRC Reuse Centers in San Jose.

Able People Foundation

 

The foundation has a “Giving Program” which finds low income elderly, and individuals living with physical limitations, who do not have either insurance, or funding, but are in need of medical equipment.

The foundation then gets the equipment needed to those people.

The types of equipment 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

Address:
552A Valley Way
Milpitas, CA 95035

Phone: 408 263 8000

Website: https://ablepeoplefoundation.org

 

Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC)

The SVILC loans equipment to individuals with disabilities to test it before buying a similar item.

You can call them on the number below to make any inquiries.

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

Phone: 408 894 9041 ext.204

Website: https://svilc.org

Ability Tools Device Lending and Demo Center for San Jose

 

Ability Tools operates a Device Lending and Demonstration Center program through a number of agencies across California.

The agencies provide “short term loans” of assistive technology devices, on loan for up to 30 days.

The Device Lending and Demonstration Center in San Jose is –

 

Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC)

25 N. 14th St. Suite 1000 (10th Floor)

San Jose, CA 95112

Phone: 408 894 9041 ext.204

Website: https://svilc.org

Centers for Independent Living (CILS) In San Jose

 

Centers for Independent Living, or CIL’s, provide the support for people with disabilities to live independently in the community.

CIL’s have free medical equipment loan closets and assistive devices to supply equipment to their members who require it.

To become a member of the CIL, you have to be disabled.

There is one CIL in San Jose, which you can see below.

 

Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC)

25 N. 14th St. Suite 1000 (10th Floor)

San Jose, CA 95112

Phone: 408 894 9041 ext.204

Website: https://svilc.org

Free medical equipment loan closets in San Jose

 

I have only been able to find one medical equipment loan closet in San Jose, but there are doubtless more. I will be covering all the different places to be asking about medical equipment loan closets at the end of the article.

The one I have found is –

 

Avenidas Medical Equipment Loan Closet

Avenidas has a medical equipment loan closet for those who are ill or have an injury.

The loan closet loans items such as –

  • walkers
  • shower chairs
  • canes
  • other equipment

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

 

The program is part of the Health and Wellness Program.

You can give them a call.

Address:

450 Bryant St,

Palo Alto, CA 94301

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

Phone: 650 289 5400

____________

Senior Centers in the San Jose area

 

Senior Centers will very often have a free medical equipment loan closet, but it is usually for members only.

Even so, Senior Centers and their seniors will be a mine of information.

I would definitely make a few calls to the centers nearest to you, and see if you can’t find loan closets that way.

Alma Senior Center
136 W. Alma Ave, San Jose, CA 95110
408 275 1315
Almaden Senior Association
6445 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA 95120
408 268 1133
Barbara Lee Senior Center
40 N Milpitas Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035
408 586 3400
Berryessa Community and Senior Center
35 Berryessa Rd, San Jose, CA 95132
408 251 6392
Cupertino Senior Center
21251 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014
408 777 3150
Cypress Senior Center
403 South Cypress Ave, San Jose, CA 95117
408 244 1353
Eastside Neighborhood Center
2150 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose, CA 95116
408 251 0215
Evergreen Senior Programs
4860 San Filipe Rd, San Jose, CA 95135
408 270 2220
Gardner Senior Programs
520 W. Virginia St, San Jose, CA 95125
408 279 1498
Mayfair Senior Center
2039 Kammerer Ave, San Jose, CA 95116
408 794 1060

Veteran Centers in San Jose

 

If you need to find out your entitlements as a veteran, here are the Veteran Centers in San Jose.

The centers may also be aware of any loan closets with free equipment or other opportunities.

County of Santa Clara: Veterans Services Office

68 N Winchester Blvd,

Santa Clara, CA 95050

Phone: 408 918 4980

 

You may want to try some of the following as well, as they are treating veterans who may need equipment, and they are at the same location –

 

San Jose Veterans Affairs Clinic

5855 Silver Creek Vally Pl,

San Jose, CA 95138

Phone: 4o8 574 9100

 

San Jose Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic –

5855 Silver Creek Vally Pl,

San Jose, CA 95138

Phone: 408 363 3000

VA Outpatient Clinic

80 Great Oaks Blvd,

San Jose, CA 95119

Phone: 408 363 3000

 

Free medical equipment online near me in San Jose

 

It is quick and easy to find free home medical equipment online, on certain social media websites, and online listing sites. I have even seen a person offering a free hospital bed in working condition on Facebook.

Before I dive in, there are a few issues when using online listings, and picking up free items –

1) It is not a good idea to tell people where your home is, or have anyone drop off an item at your home, especially if you look after an elderly, vulnerable person.

Do the pickups at coffee shops, malls, or other public spaces – you don’t know if the person has other motives.

2) Take someone else along with you to pick up the free equipment if you feel you are at all vulnerable.

3) Spam don’t use your main personal email on listing sites, as they can get inundated by spam bits who browse sites looking for email addresses to hit – create a new email just for answering listings.

4) Scammers – there are quite a number of people who offer items for free, using it as a pretext to then add on charges, so do be aware of that.

You can easily find free home medical equipment on the following sites –

 

  • Craigslist.com
  • Freecycle.org
  • UsedHME.com
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Nextdoor.com
  • OfferUp

Free used medical equipment near me in San Jose, on Craigslist

Craigslist is a huge global online classified listing service, where you post local advertisements, and find items in your area.

You just go to the site, search the advertisements, and contact the person with the listing that interests you – they even have a category “free stuff” to make our lives easier !

There is no app involved, and it is available on all devices.

Craigslist has a “free stuff” category.

To learn how to do a local search for free equipment, you can look at my quick illustrated guide on searching for free used home medical equipment on Craigslist.com here – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On Craigslist ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

Screenshot of Craigslist listings page

Screenshot example of a  Craigslist garage sale page

Free Used Medical Equipment near me in San Jose, on FreeCycle.org

 

Freecycle.org is composed of local groups of individuals, offering items for free to one another within their specific group, on an international scale.

You join a group, or groups in your area, and it gives you access to all the items being gifted in those groups.

There is no limit to the number of groups that you can join, and it is all free.

What is really great is that you don’t have to wait for an item to be offered, you can also make a request for an item within any of the groups of which you are a member.

Take a look at my quick illustrated article on how to find free used home medical equipment near you on Freecycle.org if you want to learn more – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On Freecycle.org ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

Screenshot of Freecyle.org page

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

 

UsedHME stands for – Used Home Medical Equipment.

This is a website of advertisements dedicated to used home medical equipment

Much of the equipment listed here is free, and it is a very easy site to search on.

Using the site is free and there is no membership required.

The website has the tools for you to search for free equipment in your local area.

To see how to do all this, just take a look at my quick illustrated guide on how to get free used home medical equipment on UsedHME.com here – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On UsedHME.com ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

Free used medical equipment near me in San Jose, on Facebook

 

To find free medical equipment on Facebook, you will need a Facebook account, which is free and easy to do.

Once you have an account/membership, you can search for listings of free items –

  • from buying and selling groups
  • from the Facebook Marketplace

Facebook has search options and tools which will allow you to do local searches for free items.

You can take a look at my quick illustrated guide on how to find free used home medical equipment on Facebook to learn more – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On Facebook ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

Screenshot of Facebook Marketplace page

Free used medical equipment near me in San Jose, on Nextdoor.com

 

Another social media platform which offers the possibility of finding free items in your area is Nextdoor.com.

In this case, the big difference is that the members are your neighbors, so everything you are looking at on Nextdoor.com is in your neighborhood.

There is an app for mobile, and a website for desktop.

To learn how to use it, just go to my illustrated guide, here – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On Nextdoor.com ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

Screenshot of Nextdoor.com “All Listings” page

Free used medical equipment near me in San Jose, on OfferUp

 

OfferUp is a “mobile first” online platform, dedicated to getting rid of items you don’t use, and passing them on to others – it is also available on desktop.

On OfferUp have ratings to show trustworthiness.

OfferUp is free to join and use.

For mobile, you will need to download the app.

Set the app to just look in for items in your area, by restricting the searches to pick-ups only.

I have selected the video on using OfferUp, because it explains everything perfectly. Just watch the video !

 

Getting free medical equipment with Medicaid in California

 

Medi-Cal is the California state Medicaid program.

The program provides medical coverage to individuals and families with the lowest incomes.

The coverage is free for some, and low-cost health coverage for others.

Medi-Cal’s lead agency is The Department of Health Care Services, which you can find – here.

Medi-Cal covers a number of “essential health benefits”, of which, physical and occupational therapy and “devices” i.e. durable medical equipment, is one.

You will be covered if  – 

  • the equipment is “medically necessary”
  • you have the equipment prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner
  • the equipment satisfies your medical needs

 

Medi-Cal covers items such as wheelchairs, canes, crutches, grab bars, walkers, hospital beds oxygen therapy equipment, augmentative communication devices and more, as durable medical equipment. 

You can find out more in this article “Obtaining Assistive Technology through Medi-Cal” here.

There is also more information 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 has special programs called Medi-Cal waivers, also known as HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) programs or waivers.

These Medi-Cal programs or waivers, will often cover the purchase of Durable Medical Equipment or Assistive Devices 100%, when they are prescribed as “medically necessary” by the beneficiary’s medical provider.

You are not guaranteed to instantly get on a program, or waiver, as the programs do have a limited number of places.

If a program is full, and a person is eligible, they will be placed on a waiting list.

The Medi-Cal waivers are  –

Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver – read more about this here.

Self-Determination Program – read about this here.

The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) Waiver – read about this here.

The waivers allow for the purchase of equipment and devices which will allow a beneficiary to continue living at home, rather than having to be admitted to a long term nursing facility.

 

The sources for this section on Medi-Cal are –

“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/

Can you get free home medical equipment with Medicare ?

 

With certain stipulations, items of durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, bedside commodes and more, are covered by Medicare Part B are covered for use in the home.

But this durable medical equipment is not at all free.

That said, in certain situations you can make considerable savings with Medicare Part B coverage.

I have written another article with the rules, and examples of scenarios with differently priced pieces of equipment, so that you can see when it is worth doing.

You can find that article here, “Can You Get Free Medical Equipment With Medicare ?”

Where to ask about free medical equipment in your neighborhood in San Jose

 

If you still haven’t found any free medical equipment, the following groups and places all have knowledge programs helping individuals and families in need, running all types of programs for care in the home, training caregivers, food banks, clothes loan closets, legal aid, help for the homeless –

 

  • Your local Area Agency on Aging
  • Your local social services
  • Lions Clubs
  • Rotary Clubs
  • Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Santa Clara Count
  • The Jewish Family Service of Silicon Valley
  • Local church communities

 

San Jose Area Agency on Aging

 

Sourcewise is the area agency on aging in San Jose and Santa Clara County.

Adresses:

Main Office

3100 De La Cruz Blvd, Suite 310

Santa Clara, CA 95054

Phone: 408 350 3200

 

South County Office

16340 Monterey Rd,

Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Phone: 408 762 7362

Website: https://www.mysourcewise.com/

Santa Clara County Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS)

 

This is part of the Santa Clara County Social Services Department, and you may be able to get more information on free medical equipment.

Santa Clara County Dept. of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS)

Address:

333West Julian Street,

San Jose, CA 95110

Phone: 408 755 7600

 

Website: https://socialservices.sccgov.org/about-us/department-aging-and-adult-services

The resource page for elderly adults is here –

https://socialservices.sccgov.org/about-us/department-aging-and-adult-services/resources-for-older-adults

Lions Clubs

 

If you find a club near you, you can ask if they know of a loan closet for free medical equipment.

I have a quick illustrated guide outlining how to find a Lions Club near you, which you can read here.

 

Rotary Clubs

The same applies for Rotary clubs, as applies to the Lions, so I would give a club near you a call and find out if any clubs have a medical equipment loan closet, or any other initiatives lending or donating free medical equipment to those in need.

The Rotary club locator tool will help you find a club near you.

I have another quick, 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 Santa Clara County

 

You can contact the Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County at the number below –

 

2625 Zanker Rd, Ste 201

San Jose, CA 95134

Phone: 408 468 0100

Their website is here –

https://www.catholiccharitiesscc.org/?locale=en

 

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Santa Clara County

 

In Santa Clara County, the Council is now located in San Jose with over 750 volunteers.

You can contact them to get more ideas of where you can find free medical equipment.

Their website is here –

https://www.svdp.org/

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Santa Clara County

P.O. Box 5579

San Jose, CA 95150

Phone: 408 249 2853

The Jewish Family Service of Silicon Valley

 

Website – https://www.jfssv.org/aging-with-dignity-services.html

 

Address:

Jewish Family Service of Silicon Valley

14855 Oka Rd, Suite 202,

Los Gatos, CA 95032

 

Phone: 408 556 0600

Your local church or faith groups

Also check with churches in your neighborhood, and the community they have built up around them, as they run different initiatives –

  • food banks
  • clothes loan closets
  • medical equipment loan closets

I have come across many churches with their own independent community loan closets offering DME for free to their local community.

But you will need to speak to people, as it isn’t all on the internet.

 

Where to get cheaper medical equipment in San Jose ?

 

For those who haven’t found anywhere to get free medical equipment, your only option may be to buy used durable medical equipment.

This will at least be cheaper than new equipment, but the equipment will need to be properly checked for safety.

Refurbishing centers typically run safety checks on any equipment, and fix anything that is needed, but a small independent thrift shop probably doesn’t.

So, if you do buy from one of the thrift stores below, do check whether it has been sanitized, and if they guarantee it at all.

Cheap used medical equipment at Goodwill Stores in the San Jose Area

 

Goodwill stores sell all equipment “as is”, and no liability is accepted if it breaks, or the consequences.

The equipment at Goodwill stores is accepted if it is gently used and clean, and nothing is done to it before it is put on sale, so you need to inspect it thoroughly

Not all Goodwill stores and donation locations accept home medical equipment, so check with any store in which you are hoping to find the item you are searching for.

Goodwill donation store locations in Silicon Valley

Goodwill has 18 stores across Santa Clara County.
To locate a site near you in San Jose, you can use their locator here.

 

Cheap used medical equipment in San Jose at Salvation Army stores

 

Many Salvation Army stores sell used medical equipment – but not all.

The Salvation Army states on its website that it does not repair, or clean, items that it accepts for sale. So, again, the items are sold “as is”.

The store locator tool is here – https://satruck.org/ThriftStore

Cheaper used medical equipment in thrift stores in San Jose

 

Do take a really good look at any equipment, and check it for any cracks, faulty joints etc. to avoid making a purchase of faulty equipment.

I have an article buying used medical equipment here – The Ultimate Guide To Used Medical Equipment In California

 

Charity Cars for Kids Thrift Store

2725 Lafayette Street,

Santa Clara, CA 95050

Phone: 408 748 0081

 

____________

 

Savers Thrift Store

4950 Almaden Expy #20,

San Jose, CA 95118

 

Website: https://www.savers.com/

 

____________

Unicorn Thrift Shop

1181 Redmond Ave,

San Jose, CA 95120

Phone: 408 997 9188

 

Website: https://unicornthriftshop.com/

In conclusion

 

There are many options here, and hopefully you will find something that will help you out.

 

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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