For those of you with “gently used” elderly equipment that you no longer require, it’s a wonderful act to donate it to someone who really needs it. If you have everything that you need, it is hard to understand the impact that your donation can have on someone else’s life. Elderly equipment in good shape, such as mobility equipment, daily living aids, and assistive devices can be donated to any number of organizations, as well as person to person with a private individual online.
The opportunities for making donations of “gently used” elderly equipment include – 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, senior centers, veterans centers and local churches. You can also donate directly to private individuals on classified listing websites and social media platforms with marketplaces.
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Donating elderly equipment to Assistive Technology Programs
Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) are statewide programs designed to increase public access to assistive technology devices. There is a focus on helping those on low incomes, the disabled and the elderly.
Assistive technology devices includes pretty much all forms of elderly equipment – they are devices which help an individual complete a task that they otherwise would be unable to complete.
You and any resident in the state may apply for equipment demonstrations, and equipment loans from their state AT program, and you can add to the supply of equipment available by donating yours to your state’s AT Program.
Simply click on your state in the list below if you wish to learn more about donating to your state program. Doing so will bring you to your state website.
Click on your state to go to your AT program website
Donating elderly equipment to Refurbishment and Reuse Centers
Refurbishment centers take equipment donations and, if necessary, will do any maintenance that they feel is required, as well as sanitizing it, and then redistribute the items.
A reuse center will take your equipment and, if it is in good enough condition, will offer it to someone else.
If you donate your elderly equipment to a refurbishment or reuse center, both will redistribute it, in the majority of cases, to individuals without insurance, who have a very low income or to disabled individuals.
Donating elderly equipment to a Center for Independent Living
Centers for Independent Living 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.”
It is common for Centers for Independent Living to run loan closets of all types of elderly equipment for the benefit of their disabled members, and they will gratefully receive donation of “gently used” equipment.
To find your nearest Center for Independent Living, check this website.
Donating elderly equipment to Medical Equipment Loan Closets
What is a medical equipment loan closet ?
It is a stock of durable medical equipment which is lent out into the local, or wider community – it may service a small neighborhood, a whole town, a county, or part of a state.
Some loan closets will lend equipment to anyone in their community, and others loan equipment to those who qualify on a needs basis – those with the greatest need come first.
By donating to a loan closet, you can again make a difference in lots of people’s lives with your gently used elderly equipment, and it will typically be available for borrowing free.
How to find medical equipment loan closet near you ?
I suggest doing what I do, which is to start by doing a few specific searches and inquiries –
- I first do searches, online, 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 each search in the order I’ve listed them
- if nothing comes up, don’t waste any more time doing searches, but instead contact your county Area Agency on Aging (more about them further down), and ask about loan closets that they may be aware of – to locate the agency responsible for where you live, just go to the agency locator tool here
- you can also talk to your local council, human resources or seniors department, and see if they are involved in running any community medical equipment loan closets, or if they are aware of any
- look up your local reuse or medical equipment refurbishing centers and ask if they run any loan closets – you can find them on the internet
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts – in writing all my articles I have found many community medical equipment loan closets which are run by these charitable organizations, so I would suggest that you check with a club or post near you
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 community medical equipment loan closets.
They are available to, and run by, members of the Jewish community.
To find one, just take a look on the Chesed Match website.
National and International organizations which accept elderly equipment donations
To donate your elderly equipment, locate a store near you and give them a call. Here’s the store locator – https://www.goodwill.org/locator/
To donate your elderly equipment, click on the following link website – https://satruck.org/
To locate your local affiliate and make your elderly equipment donation, use this link – https://www.easterseals.com/connect-locally/
The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
The page on their website for donating your elderly equipment is here – http://www.pqmd.org/pillars/donation-guidelines/
The page on the website for donating your elderly equipment can be found here – https://projectcure.org/donate-supplies-equipment
REMEDY – Recovered Medical Equipment for the developing World
To donate your elderly equipment to REMEDY, follow this link – https://www.med-eq.org/Login/form.aspx?type=donate&quick=1
Advocates for World Health
The page on the website for donating any durable medical equipment is here – https://awhealth.org/donate-medical-equipment/
To donate your elderly equipment, follow this link – https://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/
Follow this link to the MedShare website to donate your elderly equipment – https://www.medshare.org/
HERO Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization
You can find out about donating your elderly equipment on their website go here – https://www.herofargo.org/wp-content/uploads/IndividualSupplies.pdf
To donate your elderly equipment, check out 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
To find out about donating, follow this link to their website – http://www.medicalbridges.org/donate/medical-supplies-and-equipment
Online listing sites where you can donate elderly equipment to those near you
I like to use online listings and social media platforms, because this method allows me to donate to a person in my neighborhood, and it means I am not going to have to go a long way to get things done.
You do need to take a few precautions if you go this route –
1) For those of you caring for an elderly person in your home, you have to prioritize their safety, privacy and well-being. Don’t have strangers coming into your home for an item pick-up.
2) Arrange the pick-up elsewhere, in a public place – a car park or a mall café, for example, and ladies, I would take a friend, so you aren’t alone.
2) If you donate your item on a classified listing, such as Craigslist, I would recommend using a throwaway email address, to avoid your private email drowning in spam message from bots.
3) In your posting, in the description for your item, you need to state that you are donating it “as is”, and that you accept no liability for anything which happens after it has been donated.
If you have never donated an item on Craigslist, UsedHME.com, Facebook, Freecycle, Nextdoor, just check out my short illustrated guides on donating on each of those platforms –
OfferUp.com – I haven’t written an article on this, as there is already a very good video showing how to use OfferUp, see below.
Donating elderly equipment in your neighborhood
If you like to do things in person without using the internet, I would go and talk to people at some of the following places in your neighborhood to see if they would like your donation-
- Local Hospitals – always need mobility equipment for example
- Emergency rooms
- Thrift stores
- Senior Centers or Elderly Day Care Centers
- Veterans Centers
- Local Retirement Homes
- Your local council Seniors’ department
Organizations near you who may know where you can donate elderly equipment
Here are some administrations and organizations which may be able to give more ideas and advice if nothing is working so far –
Area Agencies On Aging
I have already mentioned talking to your local agency, and here’s why – an Area Agency on Aging is a non-profit agency, appointed by the state to your county, which assists the elderly to gain access to the services that are available to them in their community.
I would always start by asking here, as they will know of medical equipment loan closets and other programs who would appreciate your type of donation.
Use the agency locator tool to find your agency – click here.
Talk with your local Social Services department, as they will be abreast of the situation with regard to different programs who you can contact to donate equipment.
Another source of information on programs run for the elderly and those in need, are large faith-based charities, running multiple programs for individuals in need, across large areas of the US. Two such examples are –
The Catholic Charities and Society of St Vincent de Paul
Both offer multiple services/programs to low income families, the homeless, refugees, and victims of abuse.
If you contact either of the organizations, there is a very good chance that they may know of a destination for your donation
To find the chapter and its programs in your area, you will need to do a search “name of the charity + where you live”, in your web browser.
Local Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce
Your local Chamber of Commerce, will have records of the local non-profit organizations, charities and community groups dealing with used medical equipment in their administrative area, with whom you can discuss where to donate equipment.
Why isn’t your elderly equipment donation being accepted ?
Quite often, your offer of a donation will be rejected, here are a few reasons why –
- it may be considered too old or too beat up
- it may need sanitizing to avoid the spread of infection, and not everyone is equipped to do this
- used elderly equipment is no longer under warranty
- state laws governing the reuse of medical equipment, in particular, sometimes do not allow certain items to be reused
Tax deductions on donations
Hang on to the receipt from your donation that you make to any charities so that you can get 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.