Gently used equipment which has been re-furbished, can be an answer to the problem of buying a lot of expensive durable equipment for an aging loved one. As you will see, there are plenty of ways of finding used equipment which is either cheaper, or altogether free.
This article is a list of all the places that you can find used medical equipment in San Diego near you – and a lot of it is free.
In San Diego, you can get used medical equipment from –
- California State Assistive Technology Program “Ability Tools”
- reuse centers, such as “UCP of San Diego”
- loan closets, such as “Cecily’s Closet”
- centers for independent living, such as the “Center for Independent Living, Inc. Berkeley”
- medical equipment suppliers
- thrift stores, such as “Amvets” or “Desert Industries Thrift Store”
- Goodwill stores
- Salvation Army stores
You can also find used medical equipment in San Diego, using online platforms and social media sites such as –
There are links to my guides on how to use each of these online platforms below, in the online section of this article.
The “Table of Contents” below has Quick links to all the different sections, so if there is one you prefer to investigate, you can go straight to it.
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
- Catholic Charities
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul
- Lutheran Social Services
- The Jewish Family Service
- Presbyterian Urban Ministries
- Local Churches and faith groups
Buying used medical equipment from medical supply stores and thrift stores
Online listings and social media sites
As this is a very lengthy article, I am laying it out as follows –
- state government loans of free used medical equipment – short term, long term and indefinite term loans available in San Diego
- independent sources of free used medical equipment – loan closets and reuse centers – in San Diego
- sources for purchasing used medical equipment in stores in San Diego where you can find used durable medical equipment
- online sources of used durable medical equipment, both for sale and for free in San Diego
You can see in the article overview above that each of those man areas is cut up into smaller subheadings, so that you can quickly get to what suits you the most.
You will often see the term “assistive technology devices” used in this article, so to clarify, these are devices which enable an individual to accomplish a task, one that they could not otherwise accomplish, without that device. They can be high-tech or low-tech.
Pretty much all durable medical equipment is considered a form of assistive technology device, so you can take it for granted that it covers any item which helps a person perform an action i.e. opening a jar, or simply walking.
Used medical equipment from Ability Tools, the California State Assistive Technology Program
California’s State Assistive Technology Program is called “ABILITY TOOLS”.
The state program was established to help improve access for disabled persons, the elderly, and low income individuals/families, to what are called “assistive technology devices”, which as I have said includes most home durable medical equipment.
To achieve its goals, Ability Tools contracts with a coalition of “Reuse Programs” called the CATRC – The California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition.
The coalition is charged with collecting and refurbishing used medical equipment, and is involved in the equipment re-allocation.
ABILITY TOOLS, through the CATRC, and other centers, offers to those in need –
- free short term loans of new and used home durable medical equipment
- free long short term loans of new and used home medical equipment
- lend new or used home medical equipment indefinitely for free
- for those who don’t qualify for free equipment, the opportunity to purchase refurbished home medical equipment at a very low cost
The Ability Tools AT Exchange
In addition to all the CATRC reuse centers, Ability Tools also runs an online Assistive Technology Exchange.
The members of the CATRC organizations all post their inventories of available used medical equipment and AT devices on the AT Exchange, where it can be seen by anyone, including members of the public.
If you wish to take a look at the Assistive Technology Exchange website wyou will find it on the Ability Tools website, here – http://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.
To read about how the AT Exchange works, go to my article “Free Medical Equipment In California: How And Where To Get It”, where you see that I have a section all about it.
CATRC medical equipment reuse programs in San Diego
The CATRC coalition website is here.
You have two ways of finding out if you are eligible for any equipment –
- contact the CATRC member reuse center in San Diego
- contact Ability Tools through the main website – https://abilitytools.org/
In San Diego, you can also go and talk to the Ability Tools Device Lending and Demo Center – SD ATC San Diego Assistive Technology Center – which I have listed right below this section.
SD ATC San Diego Assistive Technology Center is a little confusing, as it is not strictly a reuse center, but they will tell you how to proceed for longer term equipment loans.
If you read on a little you will see in the section on the United Cerebral Palsy of San Diego reuse program (a little further along in this article), that they have their own reuse programs, and also work with the San Diego Assistive Technology Center.
Ability Tools Device Lending and Demo Center for San Diego
The SDATC San Diego Assistive Technology Center is the device lending and demonstration center, for the San Diego area.
It is one of 12 centers that Ability Tools contract with to –
- demonstrate the use of different medical equipment and assistive technology devices
- provide short terms loans of that equipment for up to 30 days
SDATC San Diego Assistive Technology Center
8665 Gibbs Dr, # 100
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: 858 278 5420 x120
The center is available to individuals with disabilities and their families.
Centers for Independent Living (CILS) In San Diego
Centers for Independent Living, or CIL’s, offer the support structure and services to those with disabilities to live independently in the community.
Typically, CIL’s have medical equipment loan closets for their clients.
Only individuals with recognized disabilities be a client of a CIL.
There are two CIL’s in San Diego County –
Access to Independence (a2i)
8885 Rio San Diego Drive, Ste 131,
Phone: 619 293-3500
Access to Independence – Escondido
1440 South Escondido Blvd, Ste D
Phone: 619 293-3500
Independent medical equipment re-use programs in San Diego
San Diego has a few independent reuse programs where if you qualify you can get free durable medical equipment.
Physical Therapy For All
The organization PT4all, for those in need, funds free physical therapy, and rehabilitation equipment.
The organization has a program recycling used medical equipment for rehabilitation of the individuals they are helping.
The types of equipment they provide includes –
The organization gives two addresses –
31022 Via Mirador
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Phone: 949 735 9955
Physical Therapy For All
4890 Renovo Way,
Their main website: https://www.ptforall.org
United Cerebral Palsy of San Diego County
The UCP of San Diego runs a number of programs, part of which involves recycling durable medical equipment.
The basic programs include –
- a program for recycling durable medical equipment
- a loan closet for adults and families in need, of free durable medical equipment
- a loan closet for children with cerebral palsy of free durable medical equipment
The type of used durable medical equipment that they loan to adults and families in need, includes –
- bath chairs
- gait trainers
You can see their website page for used equipment for families and adults in need, here –https://www.ucpsd.org/equipment/
You can call them if you have equipment needs on – 858 571 7803 ext. 115
Used medical equipment loan closets, in San Diego
Medical equipment loan closets in the San Diego Area
Cecily’s Closet – San Diego
This is a loan closet working with The UCP organization of San Diego.
Cecily’s Closet make available equipment to the parents of children with special needs.
The items which are available are on the Cecily’s Closet Facebook page, which you can find here (you will need to join Facebook to see this if you do not have a Facebook account) –
They also have a website, which you can visit, here – https://www.cecilyscloset.org/equipment-recycling.html
Ramona Food & Clothes Closet
Ramona Food & Clothes Closet also run a free durable medical equipment loan closet.
You can read about the equipment loan closet on this website page – https://www.foodandclothescloset.org/medical-equipment-loan-program/
The durable medical equipment loan closet is actually part of a thrift store, which can be found at the following address –
773 Main Street,
Ramona, CA 92065
Phone: 760 789 4458
They have all the following types of equipment available for loan for free –
- knee braces
- ankle braces
- wrist braces
- Post-Op shoes
- compression socks
- neck braces
- back braces
- boot braces
- elbow braces
- shower chairs
- handicap toilets
Senior Centers in the San Diego area
You may not be a member of a Senior Center, but many have their own free medical equipment loan closets, either just for members, or often for the elderly in the community.
Just because a Senior Center has no loan closet, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make inquiries with them, as they will have a lot of information.
And the seniors themselves who use that center may well know of free community medical equipment loan closets in the area.
I would definitely get in touch with some senior centers in your area of San Diego, and see if you can’t find loan closets that way.
Cathy Hopper Clairemont Friendship Center
Norman Park Senior Center
Encinitas Senior Center
Park Avenue Community Center
Florence Riford Senior Center
Norman Park Senior Center
Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center
San Marcos Project Care
Gloria McClellan Senior Center
Veteran Centers in San Diego
To find out about what you are entitled to as a veteran, you can contact any of the Veteran Centers in San Diego.
The centers may have medical equipment loan closets, or know of Veteran’s no-profits in the area with medical equipment loan closets.
There are many veteran’s associations which have loan closets and which are open to both veterans, and to their local community.
How to find used medical equipment near me in San Diego ?
A great source from which you can gather more information on where to find used medical equipment for free, is the organizations and administrations below, that all work with the elderly, and individuals and families in need, in San Diego.
A wealth of information that has been brought together from providing, and running, all their different programs and services.
I wouldn’t hesitate to contact any of them, and to ask them what they know about the resources available to you in your area –
- Your local Area Agency on Aging – Aging and Independence Services
- San Diego County Social Services
- Lions Clubs
- Rotary Clubs
- Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul, San Diego
- Lutheran Social Services – Southern California
- The Jewish Family Service of San Diego
- Presbyterian Urban Ministries – San Diego
- Local church communities or faith groups
Area Agency on Aging in San Diego
For San Diego, the area agency on aging is Aging and Independence Services.
Area agencies on aging provide all kinds of support and services to help people age 60 and over, as well as their family members and caregivers, to locate and access community services.
Give them a call and ask if they know of any free medical equipment loan closets in your area, or of refurbishing centers who gift, or sell at a low cost, used medical equipment to those in need.
Aside from a lot of different charitable endeavors, many Lions Clubs do run medical equipment loan closets for their local communities – I have found many in the researching of my articles.
I would look up the Lions clubs near you in San Diego, and give them a call to see if they know of any clubs near you running a loan closet for free medical equipment, or of any other resources for equipment.
Use their locator tool to find clubs near you.
I have a short illustrated guide outlining how to find a Lions Club near you, which you can read here.
The same, that I said above for the Lions, applies to Rotary Clubs as well.
Again, just use their locator tool to find a club near you and then make your inquiries.
I also have a short, illustrated guide on how to locate a Rotary Club near you using their locator tool, and you can that read here.
Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego
The Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego may be able to help you find community medical equipment loan closets in your area of San Diego.
The Catholic Charities run many programs for the poor, for the elderly, for immigrant, for refugees and for the homeless.
You can contact them through their website here – https://ccdsd.org/
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, San Diego
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, San Diego also runs many charitable programs for those in need in the different communities, and would be another great place to make inquiries about durable medical equipment loan closets.
You can find out more here – https://svdp-sandiego.org/
Lutheran Social Services – Southern California
Again, I wouldn’t hesitate to call the Lutheran Social Services – Southern California, to ask if they have any leads on any organizations who supply free medical equipment to people in need, or loan closets in your area.
You can see their website here – https://www.lsssc.org/
Lutheran Social Services of Southern California
999 Town and Country Road, Ste 100
Orange, CA 92868
Phone: 714 685 1800
The Jewish Family Service of San Diego
Next on the list, is The Jewish Family Service of San Diego, another charitable organization with many programs, from which you may be able to get more information.
The Jewish Family Service of San Diego website is here – https://www.jfssd.org/
Jewish Family Service of San Diego
Joan and Irwin Jacobs Campus
Turk Family Center,
8804 Balboa Ave,
Sand Diego, CA 92123
Presbyterian Urban Ministries – San Diego
Last on the list of place to make inquiries, is The Presbyterian Urban Ministries San Diego, which runs programs for low income families and individuals.
Their Facebook page can be found here – https://www.facebook.com/www.pumsd.org/
Phone: 619 232 2753
Local church or faith groups
Church communities very often run the following types of programs –
- food banks
- clothes loan closets
- medical equipment loan closets
As well as having their own charitable services, local churches and the communities which form around them will be another great source of information about loan closets.
I would visit your local churches and start asking questions about any free resources for equipment, which they might know about.
Buying used medical equipment in San Diego
The main sources for buying used medical equipment in physical stores are –
- medical supply stores
- thrift stores
- Goodwill stores
- Salvation Army stores
You can also buy used medical equipment online on the following platforms –
- Used Home Medical Equipment
- Facebook Sellers Groups
Stores selling used medical equipment in the San Diego area
Amvets Thrift Stores
Amvets Department of California Service Foundation have two thrift stores in the San Diego area which sell used durable medical equipment.
You can find the following items for sale in the store –
- adjustable/hospital bed
- bedside commode
- patient lift
You can see their Facebook page here –
Amvets Thrift Store
999 Cardiff St,
San Diego, CA 92114
Phone: 619 651 1650
Team Amvets Thrift Store
3441 Sutherland St #2031,
San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: 619 297 4213
DAV Thrift Stores
D.A.V. The Disable Army Veterans charity has 4 thrift stores in the San Diego Area.
You can find gently used durable medical equipment –
- shower chairs
- hospital beds
- transport bench
Phone: 800 894 2486
There 4 stores are located in –
1049 Elkelton Blvd,
Spring Valley, CA 91977
L Street & Broadway E of I-5 881 Broadway,
Chula Vista, CA 91911
1130 E Main St,
El Cajon, CA 92021
Cassidy Street West of I-5 1624,
South Coast Hwy,
Oceanside, CA 92054
The store sells used medical equipment which is gently used and clean here –
Chula Vista, CA 991911
Phone: 619 423 2317
Eric’s Medical Supply
5251 Linda Vista Rd,
San Diego, CA 92110
Eric’s sells equipment such as –
- hospital beds
- lift chairs
- power chairs
- walkers and rollators
- bathroom safety products
Father Joe’s Villages
Father Joe’s Villages sell donated equipment at 3 stores and a daily auction center in the San Diego area –
Daily Auctions and donation center –
815 33rd St,
San Diego, CA 92102
Imperial Beach –
1555 Palm Ave, Suite F
San Diego, CA 92154
El Cajon –
2325 Fletcher Parkway,
El Cajon, CA 92020
1457 University Ave,
San Diego, CA 92103
Greater Christ Temple Apostolic Church International Ministries Thrift Store
It is best to call to find out what equipment they have, as it varies.
309 Prescott Avenue,
Phone: 619 937 0197
7640 Clairemont Mesa Blvd,
San Diego, CA 92111
Sells used –
- power chairs
- hospital beds
Hospital Direct Medical
4901 Morena Blvd. #600
San Diego, CA 92117
Hospital Direct Medical refurbishes a lot of medical equipment that you would not be using in the home, but it does refurbish fully electric adjustable beds.
Mission Outreach Thrift Store
You can find used medical equipment for sale which is gently used and clean, including items such as –
3186 Adams Ave,
San Diego, CA 92116
Phone: 619 528 0026
Goodwill stores selling used medical equipment in San Diego
Although not all Goodwill stores sell used medical equipment, many do.
I have a put in a link below to the Goodwill store locator for the San Diego area, to contact the stores near you –
I would give any store you plan to visit a call, just to check that they do sell used durable medical equipment.
Salvation Army stores also sell used medical equipment in California
Some Salvation Army stores often sell durable medical equipment, but do check before you visit the thrift stores.
To find a Salvation Army thrift store near you, go to the website page below and use their locator tool-
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free, online near me in San Diego
You can find lots of used durable equipment in San Diego using certain online platforms.
Be careful, though, as you don’t know who you are getting the equipment from, and what condition it is in.
If you think that you may be vulnerable, you shouldn’t give out your personal information, and you should arrange to meet people offering items in public places.
The following sites have lots of used home medical equipment for sale, and for free –
- Facebook Marketplace
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free near me in San Diego, on Craigslist
Craigslist, is a website for posting local advertisements, and for finding items locally, so you can make your searches in San Diego as local as you wish.
You will find both free used medical equipment, and items for sale on it.
Craigslist has even created a special category called “free stuff” to make our lives easier.
Using Craigslist is free, works on all devices, and no membership is required.
If you want to find out more about using Craigslist, you can check my illustrated articles on how to find used medical equipment for sale, or for free, on Craigslist –
Screenshot of Craigslist listings page
Screenshot example of a Craigslist garage sale page
How to find used Medical Equipment for free, near me in San Diego, on FreeCycle.org
Freecycle.org is a free platform made up of groups of individuals offering free items to one another within their group.
Members can also post requests for items in their groups.
You can make Freecycle.org as local as your nearest group in San Diego, which in most cases is right where you live.
To become a member, it’s free, you just have to have an email.
You can read my quick illustrated article on how to find free used home medical equipment near you, on Freecycle.org – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On Freecycle.org ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”
Screenshot of Freecyle.org page
How to find used medical equipment for sale or free, near me in San Diego, on usedHME.com
The website is a listing which is exclusively for advertisements selling, buying and donating used home medical equipment.
You don’t have to join anything, and it is free to search for equipment.
You can make the searches as local as you want in San Diego, or anywhere else there are groups.
To see how to do this, you can read my quick illustrated guides on how to find used medical equipment for sale, or for free, on UsedHME.com –
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free, near me in San Diego, on Facebook
On Facebook you will find used items which are for sale, or free, in your area of San Diego by using –
- buying and selling groups
- the Facebook Marketplace
You will have to have an account, but it is free and easy to do.
You can read my illustrated guides on how to find used medical equipment for sale, and for free, on Facebook, to see how it is done –
Screenshot of Facebook Marketplace page
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free, near me in San Diego, on Nextdoor.com
Nextdoor.com is another social media platform, on which you can find used medical equipment near you in San Diego, for sale and for free.
Membership is free and easy to do, and you will only see people in your neighborhood, and surrounding neighborhoods.
There is an app for mobile, and a website for desktop.
You can read my quick illustrated guide showing how to find used medical equipment near you, for sale and for free, on Nextdoor.com –
Screenshot of Nextdoor.com “All Listings” page
How to find used medical equipment for sale, or free, near me in San Diego, on OfferUp
OfferUp was created to make it simpler to off-load items you don’t need, to others, either for sale, or for free, and you can use it to find used medical equipment in San Diego.
It’s a “mobile first” platform, but it is available on desktop as well.
You will find people buying, selling and offering items for free.
I have linked to the video below, which explains everything very nicely. Just watch the video !
How to find used medical equipment near me on eBay
You can find a lot of used medical equipment on eBay, and the trick is to find it near to you.
There are settings on eBay which will allow you to search for items that are being sold near to you.
Sellers will list items as a free pickup, but even if they are listed as being shipped, don’t be put off, if you are polite there is usually a way to arrange a pickup, and hence why you are searching locally.
I have an illustrated guide on how to find used home medical equipment on eBay near you – “How To Find And Buy Used Medical Equipment Near Me On eBay ?”
One last point, which applies to the online listings and for thrift stores, is that there is no guarantee that the items are safe, and you are buying these used items at your own risk.
When you buy used medical equipment from a reuse center which refurbishes the items, it is typically done within certain guidelines, and is sanitized and checked for safety.
Always check when you are buying used medical equipment if they are selling it “as is” and cannot be held responsible if you have an accident with it.
Online platforms for listings all say that they can accept no responsibility, or liability, when you enter into a contract with a seller on their platform.
I’m Gareth, the author and owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com
I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.