There comes a time when one’s mobility may depend on an assistive walking device such as a walker or a wheelchair. In case you’re in need of a new device to help your senior move around from one place to another safely, you can find more info here and learn some details about popular wheelchairs available for sale these days.
However, if you actually want to replace your old wheelchair or walker with a newer model and donate the device you no longer use, but you don’t know where to do that, you might find this post to be of help. We have covered below a few important steps to take to make sure you help another family or senior enjoy increased mobility and walk safely.
Finding the right organization
Thanks to today’s technology, it is no longer that difficult to get in touch with charitable organizations that receive medical equipment and devices as donations and further donate them to people in need of such items. The Internet makes it significantly easier to find such organizations in your area. Thorough research is needed, though.
Take the time to browse through the charitable organizations your search results get you and read what other people say about the ones you’re interested in. You might want to check out the Federal Trade Commission official website to learn more about the steps you need to take or the reputation of some charitable organizations.
Once you’ve chosen a certain organization, make sure you read their terms and conditions carefully. You should usually find a list of devices they accept and details about the condition of the medical equipment you want to donate.
If the unit is heavily used, it may not be accepted. However, some organizations may accept even broken devices and use their parts to repair others. Therefore, donating your walking device will still be of great help.
In case there are no such charities in your area, you might want to contact a local hospital for directions. Plus, you can always use social media groups to help you donate your wheelchair or walker to someone who really needs it. Search for groups that help people with health conditions identical or similar to the one that made you use the walking device.
Such groups might find your device’s next user sooner since they might probably have a list of people waiting for an assistive walking device. You may even find websites where you can donate all sorts of things including medical equipment. Try that as well if all else fails to help you. However, this is the trickiest option as you don’t know where the unit actually ends up.
Opting for a trusted charitable organization is recommended as walkers and wheelchairs are likely to match the new user’s needs. A wheelchair may work great for a person yet fail to do so for another one since each unit comes with certain features. The width, weight, height, and adjustability count, and an organization should match the device with the new user based on such specs.
Getting the equipment ready for donation
If you’ve found an organization that accepts such devices, you may already know what it is asked of you as far as the condition of the equipment is regarded. Most organizations will require you to donate the unit in good condition.
If, however, you want to donate the wheelchair or walker through other means, keep the next user in mind and clean it up. That shouldn’t be a complicated process and, after all, it is common courtesy to do that. Not to mention that if you donate a product that is functional and already clean, it might be donated more quickly.
This means that a family in need will receive and use your device sooner. Think of how much this item helped you or your senior and the difference it once made in your life. The product might actually make the very same difference in the new user’s life, therefore, get the device ready as you’d like to receive it.
In case the organization you’ve opted for has very clear guidelines regarding the way the product should be donated such as packaging and delivery terms and conditions, make sure you read their requirements carefully and act accordingly.
You will thus avoid any mismatches and even save time. Getting your wheelchair to the facility and finding out that it actually does not meet the requirements will cost you time and, why not, even money.
The benefits of donating
Unfortunately, getting funding assistance to obtain a wheelchair, walker, or other such devices may not be that easy. There are people who struggle extensively to enjoy such a unit. Here is where donating makes that difference we were talking about earlier.
Knowing that you can help a person with limited mobility is a reward itself. Taking this step will help other people take more steps and do so safely. As long as this device no longer serves you and it’s still functional and good to use, it is a pity to leave it there in your garage when it could mean so much to people in need of it.
The immaterial satisfaction you will get is peerless in the world of matter. It’s true that you could actually benefit from a tax deduction when you donate wheelchairs or walkers. Some organizations accept the so-called tax-deductible donations. In case you’ve chosen such a charity, then be sure to get a receipt in order to enjoy the tax deduction.
Other options for unused medical equipment
If you can’t afford to donate because you’re also struggling from a financial point of view or your device is heavily used or broken and charitable organizations won’t accept it, you can always resell it. There are resale shops that accept such medical equipment and offer either store credit you can use to buy other things or cash.
Retail shops of this type usually refurbish equipment that has been used extensively or is broken. Plus, more often than not, shops that buy used medical equipment work with people in need of various medical devices, and thus there are greater chances for your wheelchair, stroller, or walker to get to the right person.
If this is the option you want to go for, though, make sure you do your research before actually taking your equipment to the resale shop. Check out their terms and conditions in order to see if you meet the requirements. Some shops may accept broken items whereas others will have strict requirements regarding the condition of the wheelchair or walker you want to resell.
You can also sell it privately online but the disadvantage is that it may not end up at the right user. That’s why it is of great importance to provide as many details regarding the device features as possible. Walking devices are not one-size-fits-all items.
Their height, weight, and other such features all contribute to how much they will actually help people with limited mobility and the comfort they provide. This way the person interested in buying it will know if the item is the right one or not.