LIMA — Lima-area residents who are in need of medical equipment can now borrow items from the Medical Equipment Loan program at the Goodwill Easters Seals Community Service Center at 2350 Allentown Road.
The Medical Equipment Loan program was established back in 2013 at the Dayton corporate office, as a way to provide the community with medical equipment free of charge.
As a way to provide those same services in the Lima area, State Rep. Robert Cupp, R-Lima, worked with the state budget to establish the program in Lima, according to Teri Shirk, Vice President of Equipment Program Services at Goodwill.
Through the two-year grant, which is estimated at $43,000 per year, the program provides new and used manual wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, canes, bath/shower seats, toilet lift seats and bedside commodes.
Many of the customers are older adults whose family members are having surgery and require medical equipment or, due to their age, they need a walker or a wheelchair for long-term use, according to Shirk.
Borrowers are not required to verify income or insurance. A request form, which can be filled out at gesmv.org, is the only requirement that is needed.
Once the request form has been completed and the item has been lent, individuals can borrow the items for as long as they need it.
“We say people can borrow them, but a lot of times we are not expecting to get it back,” said Shirk. “We do not harass you. You can borrow it for as long as you need it. We hope that if you do not need it anymore, you will bring it back here or to one of the stores.”
This program is beneficial for individuals who have Medicaid who have been denied or offered only one of the medical items needed, according to Anna Swanger, Jobs and Family Services eligibility referral specialist.
“I know that people struggle with getting the equipment available to them,” said Swanger. “This program is something that we are able to tell our clients about.”
Since January, the program has served over 50 people with a goal of serving 250 to 500 people a year, according to Shirk.
“This is a perfect time to expand it here,” said Shirk. “There were a lot of logistics involved when it came to getting [the program] from Dayton out to across our whole territory. This is a great place because within only a half an hour drive it really reaches a lot of communities.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.