Whether with a change in home health medical treatment or the passing of a loved one, many people must find a way to dispose of any used home disability medical equipment not rented or on loan from a medical equipment supplier or through a medical insurance program. Recycling the equipment by donating it to an individual or charitable organisation for distribution to people in need is often considered the best disposal method unless the equipment was custom designed (for example, custom-fit body braces). Finding an individual or organisation to donate to isn't difficult and only requires that you reach out to your local community and/or any social networks.
Clean the equipment thoroughly with a sterilising cleaner and repair any damage. In addition, consider completing light or heavy cosmetic restoration if the equipment has scuffmarks, scratched paint or medical tape glue, prescription or other stickers stuck to it. Although the equipment is used, you can brighten the day of the gift receiver by presenting a "like new" piece of equipment. Charitable organisations typically also appreciate the effort, as some might not have the staff or resources to cosmetically restore the equipment.
Contact the administrators of local nursing homes and assisted living communities and ask about any programs in place that provide donated equipment to disabled residents. Many nursing homes and assisted living communities, depending on the geographic region, organisation's budget and the resident's income/resources, can't supply or afford certain types of medical equipment and rely on charitable organisations or gifts from individuals to supplement medical care.
Visit or call your local hospital or local health care system's information desk or website for information about donations of used home disability equipment or referrals to organisations in your community that accept donations.
Donate to retail-like charities such as Goodwill Industries International or The Salvation Army that resell the equipment, with the proceeds going toward helping those in need, or re-donate the equipment to individuals or churches, shelters and other organisations that distribute used equipment to the needy. In addition, many of these charities have approved charitable/gift-giving tax deduction status. When you donate, supply the original equipment pricing (if available) and your contact information to receive a receipt to use at tax time.
Speak with local religious organisations or shelter leadership about donating within the community, as service organisations such as these often can direct you to community members who either are in need of disability medical equipment or know someone who is.
Advertise your interest in donating your used home disability equipment on a used home medical equipment advertising website such as usedHME.com or HandiExchange.com, a local newspaper or through general advertising websites such as Craigslist or The Freecycle Network. Although many sites offer listing services for buyers and sellers of used home medical equipment, some sites also provide free listings to people seeking to donate instead.
If donating a deceased relative's equipment, check any equipment labelling for the equipment supplier's contact information and contact the supplier before donating to confirm that the equipment wasn't rented or loaned. If you're a member of a disability social network, ask network leadership or other members if anyone needs the type of equipment that you have or can provide donation referrals within or outside of the network.
Tips and warnings
- If donating a deceased relative's equipment, check any equipment labelling for the equipment supplier's contact information and contact the supplier before donating to confirm that the equipment wasn't rented or loaned.
- If you're a member of a disability social network, ask network leadership or other members if anyone needs the type of equipment that you have or can provide donation referrals within or outside of the network.