The Ultimate Guide To Used Medical Equipment In Oakland
If you don’t have a lot of money for new home medical equipment, which is very often the case, then gently used medical equipment which has been sanitized and checked for safety is a perfectly good option.
And, very luckily, you do not necessarily have to pay for it.
In Oakland, there are plenty of opportunities to find both free and low cost used medical equipment, if you know where to look.
In Oakland, you have opportunities to obtain used medical equipment from –
- the State Assistive Technology Program
- reuse, recycling and refurbishing centers
- loan or lending closets
- independent living centers
- medical equipment suppliers
- thrift stores
- Goodwill stores
- Salvation Army stores
- online classified ad listings and social media sites
CONTENTS - Overview & Quick Links
California State Assistive Technology Program and refurbishing programs (mostly free)
Independent Reuse programs and loan closets (most loan closets are free)
- Area Agency on Aging
- Social Services
- Lions Clubs
- Rotary clubs
- American Legion Posts
- Catholic Charities
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul
- The Jewish Family Service
- Local Churches and faith groups
Buying used medical equipment from medical supply stores and thrift stores
Online listings and social media sites
I will frequently be referring to “assistive technology devices”, “durable medical equipment” and “home medical equipment”, to mean the same kinds of items.
This is because certain programs handle a far wider range of equipment than just durable medical equipment, and use the term “assistive technology devices” to cover everything.
Assistive technology devices are devices used to accomplish a daily living task, without which, an individual with a certain disability, medical condition, or injury, is unable to complete – these can be as high-tech as a voice device for speech assistance, or low-tech as a jar opener, or a walker.
So, when you see the term “assistive technology devices”, unless I say otherwise, it includes durable, or home medical equipment.
Used medical equipment from “Ability Tools”, the California State Assistive Technology Program
Ability Tools, is the California Assistive Technology Program and is responsible for providing the public with access to assistive technology access.
To fulfill its mission, Ability tools contracts with certain agencies and non-profit organizations –
1) The coalition of “Reuse Programs” called the CATRC – The California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition – is contracted to refurbish and re-distribute the used medical equipment which it collects, or has been donated, across California.
You can see the California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition website here.
2) A “Device Lending and Demonstration Center program” is also run by Ability Tools, with different agencies contracted to provide the services in their areas of California.
ABILITY TOOLS offers, in Oakland, to those in need who qualify –
- free short term loans of new or used assistive technology devices
- free long term loans of new or used assistive technology devices
- lend new or used assistive technology devices indefinitely for free
- the opportunity to those who don’t qualify for free assistive technology devices, to purchase refurbished items at a very low cost
The Ability Tools AT Exchange
Ability Tools has an online Assistive Technology Exchange, where CATRC members, show their inventories of refurbished used medical equipment, so that anyone can see what is available.
The Assistive Technology Exchange is here, and you can see all the equipment available – http://abilitytools.org/services/at-exchange-transition.php
To see how to use the AT Exchange, you can read the section on it in my post – “Free Medical Equipment In California: How And Where To Get It”
CATRC medical equipment reuse programs in Oakland
Do you qualify for loans of free used durable medical equipment loan or low cost equipment ?
Contact the CATRC reuse center in your area, or Ability Tools on their website.
The CATRC Reuse Center for Oakland is Recares.
ReCares (formerly Home Cares)
The Recares website is here – http://homecares.org
Recares has “gently” used medical equipment, including the types of items below –
- adult briefs
- shower chairs
- tub/transfer benches
- chux (disposable underpads)
Call Recares to find out if, and how, you qualify for medical equipment loans, or contact Ability Tools here – https://abilitytools.org/about/contact-us.php
The ReCares head office is in Oakland –
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510 251 2273
They also have satellite offices –
The alleyway of 63 Dorland St
Phone: 415 487 5405
Marin Medical Equipment Recyclers
3100 Kerner Blvd
Phone: 415 388 8198
The Marin Medical Equipment Recyclers have –
- companion chairs
- transfer benches
- shower chairs
- orthopedic supports
- blood pressure machines
- wedge pillows
- therapeutic cushions
It says on the Marin Medical Equipment Recyclers website that you have to sign a liability release for any equipment they give you, which would indicate that they do not refurbish the equipment, and accept no responsibility if it breaks when it is being used.
Ability Tools Device Lending and Demo Center for Oakland
In Oakland, your Ability Tools Device Lending and Demonstration Center is going to be the same as in San Francisco, the Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco.
At the center, “short term loans” (up to 30 days) of assistive technology devices are available.
Typically, the purpose of these loans are for a user to test a piece of equipment, to see if it is right for their needs, before purchasing it.
Or as a stop gap, before new equipment arrives.
Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco (ILRCSF)
825 Howard St, Street Level,
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415 543 6222
Centers for Independent Living (CILS) in Oakland
CIL’s very often maintain medical equipment loan closets for their members.
Their mission is to provide programs and services supporting individuals with disabilities, to live independently in the community.
Providing a free medical equipment loan closet for their members is one of the services.
To see if you qualify to become a member of an Oakland CIL, and to receive their support and services, you will need to contact them at one of the numbers below.
There is a main CIL in Berkeley –
Center for Independent Living, Inc
3075 Adeline Street,
Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone: 510 841 4776
1904 Franklin St, #320
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510 763 9999
1470 Fruitvale Ave,
Oakland, CA 94601
Phone: 510 536 2271
There is a list of all the other CIL’s in the Bay Area, here –
Community medical equipment loan closets
Moving on to a fabulous resource, community medical equipment loan closets.
You may have to do a bit of digging to find them, but there are lots of them out there
Typically, these are free to use, and are open to community members who have a need for an item of durable medical equipment on loan.
I have included a section further down in this piece, on where in Oakland you can start digging around and asking about loan closets, and other resources in your neighborhood.
You will find that here.
Free medical equipment loan closets in
Unfortunately, other than Recares I have not been able to find any community medical equipment loan closets in Oakland, but there will be a bunch out there.
Senior Centers in the Oakland area
Moving on to, senior centers, in the Oakland area, they may well have their own free medical equipment loan closets for their members, or for the whole community.
If there is no loan closet, I would still make contact and get to know the people there, as the staff will have a lot of information, as well as all the seniors themselves who will know about a lot of resources for the elderly in your area of Oakland.
Chances are that someone is likely to have information about free community medical equipment loan closets in the area, or maybe another method for getting used durable medical equipment for the home, either free or cheaply.
Below is a list of senior centers in the Oakland are, so I would find those nearest to where you live and start making contact.
Downtown Oakland Senior Center
East Oakland Senior Center
North Oakland Senior Center
West Oakland Senior Center
Hong Lok Senior Center
Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center
East Bay Korean Senior Citizen
Warren Senior Citizens Helper
Our Family Circle Foundation
Palo Vista Gardens Community
Pacifica Senior Living Oakland Heights
Alameda Mastick Senior Center
South Berkeley Senior Center
San Leandro Senior Community Center
Hotel St. Mark
West Berkeley Service Center
Veteran Centers in Oakland
If you are a veteran, or caring for a veteran, I would be checking in with the VA Services in Oakland to find out what you, or they, are eligible for.
Below are the centers in the Oakland area –
Alameda County Veterans Services
6955 Foothill Blvd, 300
Phone: 510 577 3547
Disabled American Veterans
200 Grand Avenue, 205
Phone: 510 893 1666
Vietnam Veterans of America
200 Grand Avenue, 208
Phone: 510 444 5235
How to find used medical equipment near me in Oakland ?
I have already looked at senior centers, briefly, as great resources, but there are a number of administrations and nonprofit organizations in Oakland, who will have a very good picture of what is out there, and where you may find more used medical equipment on loan, for free, or at a very low cost.
The organizations and administrations below all work with individuals and families in need, as well as with elderly adults.
Through providing, and running all the different services and programs, a great deal of knowledge and information has been brought together by the following organizations, and I would simply ask them about the resources in your part of Oakland –
- Your local Area Agency on Aging – Alameda County Area Agency On Aging
- Alameda County Social Services Agency
- Lions Clubs in Oakland
- Rotary Clubs in Oakland
- Catholic Charities East Bay
- American Legion Posts in Oakland
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County
- The Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay
- Local church communities or faith groups
Area Agency on Aging in Oakland
The agency in Oakland is –
Alameda County Area Agency On Aging
6955 Foothill Blvd, Ste 300
Phone: 510 577 1907
Thomas L. Berkley Square(North Oakland)
2000 San Pablo Avenue,
Phone: 510 891 0700
7751 Edgewater Drive,
Phone: 510 208 0995
Alameda County Social Services Agency website – here.
Call your local Lions clubs in Oakland to see if they have a loan closet for free medical equipment, or know of one in the area.
I have found many medical equipment loan closets run by Lions clubs for their local communities.
You just need to use their locator tool to find clubs near to you in Oakland – see my quick illustrated guide outlining how to find a Lions Club near you in Oakland, which you can read here.
I would do exactly the same things with Rotary Club’s in your area of Oakland.
The Rotary organization also has a locator tool for you to find a club near you.
To see how to find a rotary club near to you, take a look at my quick, illustrated guide on the Rotary club locator tool, here.
American Legion Posts in Oakland
Another source of medical equipment loan closets for local communities that I have discovered is American Legion Posts.
Take a look in your preferred internet browser for “American Legion Posts in Oakland”, and you will see a whole list.
Select the closest ones to you, and give them a call to see it they have a loan closet, or if they know of any organization near you which does.
The Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay
Alameda County Office
2484 Shattuck Ave, Ste 210,
Phone: 510 704 7475
Home Care for Seniors
Phone: 510 684 6009
Your local church or faith groups
In addition to the nonprofit organizations run by different religious denominations already listed here, Oakland’s local churches and their communities will have a great deal of information about resources for those in need.
Frequently in my research I find small local churches running their own programs to benefit the surrounding community –
- food closets
- clothes loan closets
- medical equipment loan closets
I would round small local churches in your area of Oakland, and ask about medical equipment loan closets, and any other ways of accessing used medical equipment for free or at a low cost.
If it is safe with covid, I would try to go and meet people in person, as when people can put a face to the person making these inquiries, they can be much more helpful.
That said, people who work with churches are in general going to be caring individuals.
Buying used medical equipment in Oakland
Let’s now take a look at where you can buy used medical equipment.
You can find used medical equipment in the following types of stores in Oakland –
- medical supply stores
- Goodwill stores
- Salvation Army stores
- small independent thrift stores
Online sites where you can buy used medical equipment in your area of Oakland are another great option, and there will also be a lot of free items as well !
We’ll be looking at the following online platforms –
- Used Home Medical Equipment
- Facebook Sellers Groups and Marketplace
Stores selling used medical equipment in the Oakland area
Buy used medical equipment requires a cautious attitude, and a lot of checking items for any cracks, faulty joints, rust etc.
Some shops sell refurbished equipment which is properly sanitized, whereas many do nothing at all, and sell the used items in the condition they received them with no guarantees.
Thrift stores typically accept donations of items, which are not treated in any way before going on the shelf for sale “as is” – you accept the equipment in the condition that you buy it, and you have no recourse if it is faulty.
Here’s a list of stores selling used medical equipment in Oakland.
ARF Thrift Store
1950 Market Street, Suite H,
Phone: 925 685 0908
would call to see if they are selling any items or not, as at certain times they accept equipment, and other times not.
Habitat For Humanity ReStore Oakland
9235 San Leandro St,
Phone: 510 777 1447
Some stores have items of used home medical equipment, so I would call to see if they have any items, rather than just turning up and hoping to find things.
7954 MacArthur Blvd,
Phone: 510 878 2477
Mastick Senior center thrift store
1538 St Charles St,
Phone: (510) 747-7500
This thrift store is part of a senior center, so I would imagine they have some used durable medical equipment.
St. Vincent de Paul Society Thrift Store
9235 San Leandro St,
Phone: 510 636 4252
Some of their thrift stores sell used durable medical equipment, and others don’t, so you need to check.
Cheap used medical equipment at Goodwill Stores in the Oakland
Goodwill stores don’t all accept home medical equipment, so I’d call the stores before you waste your time.
The stores are also the perfect example of stores where used medical equipment is sold “as is”, and Goodwill does not accept any liability if anything goes wrong.
The items in Goodwill stores only accepted items if they are clean and gently used, but they don’t do any work, or sanitizing, so you would be advised to thoroughly inspect items before purchasing them.
Goodwill stores in Oakland
Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay is the organization running the stores in the Oakland area.
In Oakland, there are 8 Goodwill stores.
To find the stores near you in Oakland, use their locator tool here.
Salvation Army stores also sell used medical equipment in Oakland
The Salvation Army stores work in the same way as Goodwill, accepting donations of all kinds of durable medical equipment, and selling them “as is”, without any refurbishing or sanitaization.
To find a Salvation Army thrift store near you in Oakland, use their locator on the web page below –
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free, online near me in Oakland
You won’t have any trouble finding used medical equipment for sale, or for free, online in Oakland, if you look in the right places.
It’s important to be a little wary of a few things –
- vulnerable adults should not be giving out a lot of personal information to total strangers
- if you care for a fragile elderly person, it is again may be best not to give out your address or to have strangers coming to your home with equipment
- it may make more sense to make arrangements to meet the people offering items in public places
- check used equipment is in good condition before you purchase, as you will not be able to do anything after you have accepted it
- especially when you are dealing with free items, be aware that the people offering the items may be running a scam, and if they start to say that there are some charges to get it to you etc., just stop the deal there
You are going to find lots of items of used medical equipment both for sale, and for free, near to you in Oakland on these sites –
- Facebook Marketplace
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free near me in Oakland, on Craigslist
Anyone can post local advertisements on Craigslist, making it easy to find used medical equipment locally, pretty much anywhere. In Oakland, there’s lots of used medical equipment for sale, or for free.
Craigslist also has a special category called “free stuff”, which makes it easy to first see if there is any free used medical equipment in your area, before you search for items that you’ll have to pay for.
Searching on Craigslist is free, it works on all devices, and there is nothing to join.
To find out how to do local searches in Oakland on Craigslist, for used medical equipment, both for sale and for free, you can take a look at my short illustrated guides, here –
Screenshot of Craigslist listings page
Screenshot example of a Craigslist garage sale page
How to find used Medical Equipment for sale, or free, near me in Oakland, on FreeCycle.org
Freecycle.org is a platform made up of groups of people gifting items to other members of their group – no buying or selling is allowed.
The groups are all over the world, and are formed locally, so you don’t have to use shipping to get stuff, unless of course you join groups miles from where you live.
You can make Freecycle.org as local as your nearest group in Oakland, so you won’t have to go far to get your items.
As well as offering items, a member can post requests for items in their group as well.
The whole thing is free, and you just need an email to join, and you can join as many groups as you wish.
Screenshot of Freecyle.org page
How to find used medical equipment for sale or free, near me in Oakland, on usedHME.com
Exclusively for advertisements selling, buying and donating used home medical equipment, usedHME.com is a great place to find used medical equipment in Oakland.
The equipment searches are done based on your zip code, so you can set it up to search just in Oakland.
The site is free to use, and you’ll find both items for sale and for free.
I have short illustrated articles on how to buy, or find free, used medical equipment on the site –
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free, near me in Oakland, on Facebook
You should again have no trouble finding used medical equipment in Oakland on Facebook.
To do so, you have to have an account, which is very easy to sort out.
You find used medical equipment which is both for sale, and for free, in Oakland, by using –
- buying and selling groups
- the Facebook Marketplace
To see how you can do all this in Oakland, I have two illustrated guides on how to find used medical equipment on Facebook –
Screenshot of Facebook Marketplace page
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free, near me in Oakland, on Nextdoor.com
Nextdoor.com is an easy-to-use social media platform, on which you can find used medical equipment near you in Oakland.
You will find items being offered for sale, or for free.
You have to become a member, which is free and easy to do.
Nextdoor.com is available both as an app for mobile, and on desktop.
The members that you will see offering equipment, are all going to be people who live in your neighborhood, so you won’t have to go far to pick items up.
If you want to see how to set up, and to use Nextdoor.com to find used medical equipment, read my quick illustrated guides –
Screenshot of Nextdoor.com “All Listings” page
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free, near me in Oakland, on OfferUp
With OfferUp you can also find lots of used medical equipment for sale, or for free, in Oakland.
OfferUp is free to use, and you only need an email address to join.
Below, is a very good video which fully explains how to use OfferUp.
How to find used medical equipment near me in Oakland, on eBay
Yet another site where you’ll be able to find lots of used medical equipment for sale near you live in Oakland is eBay.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find free used medical equipment on eBay, but you should find lots of deals.
To use eBay, you will have to join, which just involves giving your email – but you can do searches, without joining, to see what is available.
Joining is free, though, is very simple and just requires an email.
To do searches locally i.e. in Oakland, and not all over the US, you have to set the search settings to only show items in your area – to learn how to make local searches in San Francisco on eBay, look at my illustrated 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.
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