Loan Cupboard provides free hospital equipment

The Loan Cupboard isn’t a cupboard at all! It’s actually a service that provides hospital equipment for short-term loan free of charge to residents of the coast. The Red Cross provides this type of service in other communities across BC.

From left: Anne Selder, Carol Bowie, Peter Jordt, Nancy Gallop and Shelley Grainger.

The Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary is committed to providing volunteer services and raising funds to enhance the quality of health care on the coast. We are proud of the contribution our 30 Loan Cupboard volunteers make, last year they logged over 3500 hours.

The volunteers participate in 8 to 10 hours of training and handle 3700 pieces of equipment every year. Each piece of equipment is cleaned and sanitized and checked for safety before it is loaned.

There are 750 items on our inventory. Available equipment includes mobility assistance devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and canes. We have bathroom safety and assistance items such as bath boards, transfer benches, shower stools, toilet seat raisers and toilet guardrails. Other equipment includes bed rails, tables, bedpans and urinals. Many of our clients have had hip or knee surgery and we stock reachers, shoehorns and sock aids for their postoperative recovery.

This free service can prevent hospitalization by helping people to stay in their own homes and remain safe and independent. The specialized equipment can also facilitate early discharge from the hospital.

The Loan Cupboard is accessed by self-referral, or referral from Sechelt Hospital therapists or nurses, Home Care therapists, Doctor’s offices and Vancouver facilities discharging Sunshine Coast residents.

The Loan Contract is for two months with a two-month extension. Equipment must be returned in good condition and in a timely manner. We encourage clients to return items as soon as they no longer need them, as there is constant demand for the equipment.

Dispersal of donated equipment is another part of the Loan cupboard service. With over 350 items donated each year we take great care to make sure that they go to the right place after being cleaned and checked for safety. Some equipment may be added to inventory or given to community members in need. Other items go to community agencies such as Home Care. We donate equipment to local thrift stores and Rotary World Help program for distribution globally. Anything we can’t find a home for gets taken apart and used for parts, very little goes to the landfill.

The Loan Cupboard is located in the basement of the South Wing of Sechelt Hospital.

Hours of operation: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Monday to Friday, except for Statutory Holidays

This article was produced at the request of the Seniors Planning Table to provide information on available community resources.

Coast Reporter article.

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