If you have bed rails in decent condition that you no longer utilize, there are many places and organizations that actively support individuals who require them, to which you can donate. Or, if you prefer, you can gift your bed rails person to person on multiple online platforms very easily.
To donate your “gently used” bed rails you can contact any of the following places: State Assistive Technology Projects, state online equipment exchanges, reuse centers, community loan closets (state and local), Bikur Cholim, non-profit charities, thrift stores, medical equipment refurbishment projects, faith based organizations, local churches, senior centers and veterans centers. Or list them on classified websites and social media platforms with marketplaces.
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Donating bed rails to Assistive Technology Programs
Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs)
With the aid of federal grants, Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) are established in a state to improve accessibility for low income individuals and families, the disabled, and the elderly, to assistive technologies, including most forms of durable medical equipment.
To go to your AT Program website, select your state from the lists below
Click on your state to go to their AT program website
Donating crutches to Refurbishment and Reuse Centers
If you donate your crutches to a medical equipment refurbishment or reuse center, both will typically have programs for the redistribution of donated items to individuals in need.
In general, the equipment is given either for free, or for a very low fee.
Refurbishment and reuse centers are typically run by non-profit organizations, and the costs are kept low so that the items can be offered.
Donating bed rails to Centers for Independent Living
If you have new or used medical equipment to spare, consider donating it to the loan closets of Centers for Independent Living, as they often accept such gifts for the benefit of their members.
“A Center for Independent Living are – Designed and operated by individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) provide independent living services for people with disabilities. CILs are at the core of ACL’s independent living programs, which work to support community living and independence for people with disabilities across the nation based on the belief that all people can live with dignity, make their own choices, and participate fully in society. These programs provide tools, resources, and supports for integrating people with disabilities fully into their communities to promote equal opportunities, self-determination, and respect.”
Source : https://acl.gov/programs/aging-and-disability-networks/centers-independent-living
You can locate a Center for Independent Living near you on this website.
Donating crutches to Medical Equipment Loan Closets
Medical equipment loan closets provide an excellent opportunity to donate new or gently used bed rails. Loan closets typically lend durable medical equipment to community members in need, with a particular focus on seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Donating to loan closets means your bed rails will, in most cases, be borrowed by others at no cost.
The size of loan closets can vary greatly, with some operated by large non-profit organizations that span an entire state, while others are run by a dedicated group of local volunteers working out of improvised spaces.
To locate a medical equipment loan closet near you, start by looking in a number of places –
- I find the easiest way to start is to do a search, on the internet, for “medical equipment loan closet + your location”, “medical equipment lending closet + your location”, “medical equipment lending bank + your location”, or “medical equipment bank + your location” – I try all of these in the order I have written them until I get a result
- If the first method draws a blank, talk to your county Area Agency on Aging – to locate your county’s agency, you need to go to the link here
- talk to your local human resources, or seniors department, to see if they run any community medical loan closets, or if they are aware of any
- contact any medical equipment refurbishing or reuse centers near you – again, search for these online
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts frequently manage medical equipment loan closets for their local communities
To locate a Lions Club in your area, check out my article here – How To Find A Lions Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
To locate a Rotary Club in your area, check out my article here – How To Find A Rotary Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
Bikur Cholim or Medical Equipment Gemacht – these are Jewish medical equipment loan closets available to, and run by, members of the Jewish community.
Make inquiries to find one at your local synagogue, or here on the Chesed Match website.
Great Lakes Loan Closets
An outstanding example of the importance of loan closets is the comprehensive network of loan closets called the Great Lakes Loan Closets.
The loan closets service the residents of Michigan, Wisconsin, Northern Indiana and Northern Illinois.
You can donate your bed rails if you live in that area. The network comprises several hundred loan closets which are run by all sorts of faith based groups, churches, senior centers, and local councils, and which have all been very kindly listed on one website.
“Loan closets typically have durable medical equipment (DME) such as wheelchairs, shower chairs, bedside commodes, walkers, crutches, canes, and high-rise toilet seats. Some may also have hospital beds or electric wheelchairs available. Each loan closet is unique, with its own set of eligibility requirements, equipment, and loan period.” – Source – the Great Lakes Loan Closets website
There is a loan closet locator on the home page of the website if you wish to donate your bed rails in that area – https://loanclosets.org/
National and International organizations which accept durable medical equipment donations
To donate your crutches, locate a store near you and give them a call. You can do that with this link – https://www.goodwill.org/locator/
To donate your crutches, click on the following link website – https://satruck.org/
To locate your local affiliate, use this link – https://www.easterseals.com/connect-locally/
The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
The website donating page is here – http://www.pqmd.org/pillars/donation-guidelines/
Donating is here – https://projectcure.org/donate-supplies-equipment
REMEDY – Recovered Medical Equipment for the developing World
To donate equipment to REMEDY, go to this web page – https://www.med-eq.org/Login/form.aspx?type=donate&quick=1
Advocates for World Health
Donating durable medical equipment is here – https://awhealth.org/donate-medical-equipment/
To donate, go here – https://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/
Go to the MedShare website to donate here – https://www.medshare.org/
HERO Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization
You can find about donating on their website – https://www.herofargo.org/wp-content/uploads/IndividualSupplies.pdf
To donate your crutches, look at this website page – https://www.globallinks.org/our-work/programs/medical-surplus-recovery-program/individual-and-community-surplus-recovery
Global Mobility USA
You can contact them at this web address – http://www.globalmobilityusa.org/equipment-and-in-kind-donations
This is the donation page on their website – http://www.medicalbridges.org/donate/medical-supplies-and-equipment
Online listing sites where you can donate medical equipment near you
Using online listings and platforms for posting donations provides a convenient way to donate as close to home as you wish.
If you are responsible for caring for an elderly person at home, it is important to prioritize their safety and privacy. Avoid having individuals come to your home to pick up the items, as it may reveal that a vulnerable person lives there.
Instead, arrange a meeting in a public place to donate the item, away from your home.
When posting donations on classified listings, I always use a throwaway email address. This helps prevent my regular private email from being inundated with spam emails.
This is not a problem if you are using Facebook, Nextdoor, Freecycle or OfferUP for your donation.
Lastly, don’t forget to write in the description of the item in your posting that you are offering it “as is”, and that you accept no liability if the new user has problems or an accident with it.
You can consult my short illustrated guides on donating new, or used, medical, equipment on each of the following platforms –
OfferUp.com – No need for an article on this, as there is a very good video showing how to use OfferUp, see below.
Donating bed rails in your neighborhood
If you didn’t have any luck, or just don’t want to donate your bed rails online, why not contact, or visit, some of the following places in your neighborhood to see if they need bed rails –
- Local Hospitals
- Emergency rooms
- Thrift stores – many thrift stores sell used bed rails – call first though as not all do sell used medical equipment
- Senior Centers or Elderly Day Care Centers often have loan closets, so call some in your area
- Veterans Centers may have a member interested in your bed rails
- Local Retirement Homes
- Call your local council Seniors’ department and ask if they have a medical equipment loan closet, or if they know of any
Organizations near you who may know where to donate bed rails
If you haven’t found anywhere to take your donation of bed rails, here are a few extra organizations which may have ideas of where you may be able to donate them –
Area Agencies On Aging
Area Agencies on Aging, which I have already mentioned, should know of any loan closets in your area.
You can find an Area Agency on Aging in your area – here.
Social services in your area should also know of any programs that are accepting donations of durable medical equipment, such as bed rails.
Certain faith based charities run multiple programs for individuals in need, across the whole of the US.
Two faith based charities with chapters all over the US are –
The Catholic Charities
Society of St Vincent de Paul
To contact chapters of these charities in your area, type the “name of the charity + where you live”, into the web browser of your choice.
Local Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce
Your Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce will have records of nonprofit organizations, charities and community groups which work in refurbishing durable medical equipment and redistributing it into the community, to those in need.
Reasons why your bed rails may not be accepted
I wouldn’t try to donate bed rails which are a bit messed up, or defective in any way, as you likely won’t find somewhere to donate them, unless it is as spare parts.
Organizations may not be equipped to accept and handle used medical equipment, to disinfect and to wash it, to avoid the spread of infection. Legally, they may not be able to accept your used medical equipment donation.
Some companies won’t want to get involved in handling equipment which has lost its warranty if it is a used item.
State laws governing the reuse of medical equipment will also vary from state to state.
Tax deductions on donations
Keep your receipt for donations that you make to charities if you are claiming a tax deduction – the IRS will require the receipt for the item.
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.