There are many non-profit organizations and foundations that assist aging and / or disabled individuals either financially or by providing free, long term loans of home and durable medical equipment (DME). Loaner programs tend to focus more on durable medical equipment (DME) and less on electronic items, (sometimes referred to assistive technology) as these are much harder to service.
Types of Assistance Programs
Non-profit and foundation assistance programs can be divided into 3 groups.
1) National Foundations
These programs are typically condition-specific and usually require that an individual have a specific diagnosis to participate in a loan program. This includes organizations such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Loan programs within these organizations are usually run by the local chapters.
2) Local Non-Profits
These are regional programs that accept donated durable medical equipment, refurbish the items and either re-sell them at extremely low-cost or simply give the equipment to local needy residents. Each program has their own requirements for participation. One might try locating other programs by doing a web search for “Free Durable Medical Equipment” AND “Your City, State”.
3) Lost Limb Organizations
These programs are specifically intended to assist individuals that have lost limbs or lost the use of their limbs.