(Castlegar) April 11th, 2012: Those who experience a sudden illness or accident are often left stunned by how quickly their lives have changed. A car accident, a sudden slip, or a heart attack can leave a person helpless in a home built for the able-bodied. For the elderly, after hip or knee surgery, a broken bone, or the onset of debilitating disease, everyday tasks can become unmanageable.
The Canadian Red Cross, Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) is a volunteer-driven, community-based program that provides essential medical equipment to individuals on a “by donation” basis. Making this medical equipment available to the public has many positive impacts in the community. First of all, access to this equipment supports the independence of clients (primarily seniors), enabling them to remain an active part of their community, and thereby increasing their health and well-being. Secondly, public access to this service reduces long term facility placements, facilitates hospital discharges, and supports people who wish to spend their final days in the comfort of their own home.
People in the community can only access this service if there is a volunteer available to help them. Three hours a week can make a world of difference to someone in your community. We have various positions available; from client support to equipment maintenance and depot deliveries, full training and support is provided.
Volunteer support is critical in order to continue providing this essential service to those who need it and so is having equipment available to loan out. Many depot locations are short of equipment and are finding they are having to put people on a wait list because of equipment not being returned and not having the inventory available for the next person.
Spring Cleaning? Make your first priority to return any equipment that you may have borrowed, there are many people on a wait list who need to borrow this equipment as part of their recovery.
Please contact the Castlegar Canadian Red Cross office located at 1250 26th, Street – in the old Kinnaird Middle School; at 250 365-3911 or 1-800-761-0099 ext 102 to ask for more information on how to become a volunteer or for directions to the nearest location to drop off your loaned equipment.