Tag Archives: Medical Equipment Loan Closet

There when you need it: the Medical Equipment Loan Closet

9 Feb

When accidents happen, or perhaps your elderly parent needs a wheelchair, fate doesn’t ask if you have insurance to cover the cost of renting or buying rehabilitative equipment. That’s where the Medical Equipment Loan Closet come in.

The Loan Closet is located at 979 Bay Rd. in the Damascus Shrine Center, where it rents space from the Shriners. Executive Director James Clancy and Loan Closet Coordinator Michelle Lyons staff the closet every weekday from 9 to noon, managing the loan of hundreds of pieces of medical equipment, large and small.

I found out about the Loan Closet when Michelle posted something about it on a local Facebook page. Apparently not a lot of people know about it, so she was trying to spread the word. That’s how I found out about it, and when I stopped in the other day, I was amazed by both the volume of equipment they offer, and the fact that it’s all loaned out for FREE.

Well, let me clarify that a bit. The larger items, like wheelchairs, knee walkers and rollators require a $25 deposit, which is returned when the equipment is returned. But everything else, like crutches, shower chairs, quad canes and so much more … all you gotta do is ask.

The Medical Equipment Loan Closet has been serving the Webster community from its current location since 2003. For a while, it was running concurrently with a loan closet hosted by the Webster Community Chest. But that one closed several years ago, leaving the Damascus Shrine-based location the only one in town.

Here’s a partial list of the items the Loan Closet can provide. Loans are for four months. If there’s something you need that’s NOT here, simply give them a call and ask, because there’s a good chance they have one.

  • wheelchairs
  • knee walkers
  • walkers
  • rollaters
  • quad canes
  • shower chairs
  • commodes
  • crutches
  • transfer benches
  • sock aids, grabbers and leg lifts
  • tub clamp bars and shower bars

They don’t, however, have any beds or electric equipment. There’s just no room for those.

The Medical Equipment Loan Closet runs completely on donations, mostly from community members. They take donations of equipment and supplies (in good shape, please) but are always grateful for cash donations as well to help cover their overhead and to purchase new equipment. All equipment donations are washed and sanitized on-site.

Michelle told me that her Facebook post has gotten a lot of attention, and they’ve begun to get more calls. But this is something that EVERYBODY needs to know about. Certainly there are a lot more people out there who could use its services. The Medical Equipment Loan Closet is a hidden resource that’s been serving the Webster community for 19 years. It’s about time it came out of hiding.

The Loan Closet is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon at the Damascus Shrine Center, 979 Bay Rd. For more information about their services, give them a call at (585) 671-9730.

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