Friday, April 7, 2017

Windham Loan Closet requests return of medical equipment by Elizabeth Richards

Do you have a short-term need for specialized medical equipment like crutches, a walker, or a shower seat?  Did you know that you don’t necessarily have to buy it? The Windham Loan Closet serves Windham and surrounding communities, and has a wide range of medical equipment to loan out. 
Loan closet is asking people to return items once they are done with them

The Windham Loan Closet is located on Windham Center Road in Windham. According to volunteer Kristi MacKinnon, the closet has wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, shower benches, crutches, and many other essential items available.  Items are acquired through donation or through financial donations that allow the purchase of equipment. “We take donation of items that are in excellent condition, and very clean,” MacKinnon said.

There is no charge to borrow equipment. Equipment can be borrowed from a time-frame from couple of weeks to a six-month maximum loan period. Currently the loan closet is running low on some essential equipment, due to them not being returned in a timely manner. “Right now, we are in short supply of many items because some people are not returning them when they are finished with them,” MacKinnon said.  “It’s very tough to have to tell somebody, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have that item, you’ll have to buy it’. We’re asking everyone who has borrowed an item and is done with it, to clean and return it as soon as possible,” she said.

The loan closet is staffed with on-call volunteers, who call those with borrowed items to remind them to bring them back when time permits. But there isn’t much time to do so, MacKinnon says. 
Home care therapists are able to get a key from the library next door to the closet, and pick up items for their patients, MacKinnon added. Once an item is taken by a therapist, the patient is then responsible for making sure it gets returned when they are finished with it.  

Because of the wide range of items available at the closet, MacKinnon said people should call before purchasing needed equipment to see if the closet has it. There are no regular operating hours, and there is no formal application to borrow an item.  Items are loaned to anyone who requests them, if available. To borrow or return items, call: 207-894-5000, x111 and leave a message. The on-call volunteer will call back to set up an appointment to either check out or return an item. 

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