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A loan to help you get out of hospital

A loan to help you get out of hospital

Members of the SC Healthcare Auxiliary who work with the Loan Cupboard, from the left: Anne Selder, Carol Bowie, Peter Jordt, Nancy Gallop and Shelley Grainger. Photo submitted

The Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary Loan Cupboard is one important resource which 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.

The Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary is committed to providing volunteer services and raising funds to enhance the quality of health care on the coast.  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.

We are proud of the contribution our 30 Loan Cupboard volunteers make, last year logging over 3,500 hours. The volunteers participate in 8 to 10 hours of training and handle 3,700 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 ranging from mobility assistance devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and canes to 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 so we stock reachers, shoehorns and sock aids for their postoperative recovery.

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

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. Some equipment may be added to inventory after being cleaned and checked for safety or given to community members in need. Other items go to community agencies such as Home Care or get donated to local thrift stores or the Rotary World Help program for distribution globally. Anything we can’t find a home for gets taken apart and used for parts.

The Loan Cupboard is accessed by self-referral or referral from Sechelt Hospital therapists or nurses, home care therapists, doctors’ offices and Vancouver facilities discharging Sunshine Coast residents. It is located in the basement of the south wing of Sechelt Hospital.  Hours of operation: 10am-2pm Mon. to Fri., except for statutory holidays.

Check out our website for more information   Submitted

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