The Red Cross equipment loan depot has moved to downtown Trail after 25 years of serving locals from the plaza.
The new RED Cross HELP (Health Equipment Loan Program) will be open regular hours starting Monday, May 6, in the former Morning Perk coffee shop, located at 1199 Bay Avenue in the Il Centro mall.
“The Red Cross HELP depot has been located at Waneta mall for several years now, however, the lease on the location terminated, ” Angela Sammon, HELP director, told the Trail Times. “This provided an opportunity to find a new location to better meet the needs of the community, and allow for increases in demand.”
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The Trail site has assisted 816 individuals in the past several months, and provided 1,645 pieces of health equipment.
“In the past year alone, equipment loans have increased by 17 per cent, and Red Cross anticipates this will continue,” Sammon said. “The new Red Cross HELP location will ensure that we have the ability to meet current and future needs for the community.”
It’s important to note that the present locale in suite #102, is only temporary. Renovations are underway two doors down in #104, so the larger suite will eventually be the depot’s permanent home.
“There are some modifications required at the space to safely store equipment,” Sammon clarified. “While these are completed our new landlord has generously provided space in the adjacent unit at 102.”
Trail’s HELP Depot provides basic equipment such as walkers, canes, crutches, wheelchairs, bathing and toileting aids such as bath benches, raised toilet seats and commodes. Other supports such as bed assists and toilet safety frames are also available.
Volunteers fill the regular hours, which are Monday to Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. As far as moving costs and year-to-year financial backing, Sammon thanked the community for its ongoing support.
“The long term presence in the Trail community, and equipment availability, has been very generously supported by the United Way of Trail and District since 2009, and over the years the Columbia Basin Trust has funded the purchase of hundreds of articles of medical equipment,” Sammon said.
“We are very grateful for this community support. Operationally, the Red Cross receives funding from Interior Health Authority under the Provincial Medical Equipment Provision Program, which will allow us to continue to provide equipment to anyone in need.”
The depot is recruiting volunteers. For more information, visit the Canadian Red Cross website redcross.ca/volunteer, or email volunteerBC@redcross.ca. In the interim, those interested can call the BC Southern Interior HELP line toll free at 1.800.761.0099.
Additionally, when the permanent Trail depot is ready, the Red Cross will host an open house so the public can have a first-hand look at the equipment and location.
HELP is a short term loan program that provides equipment free of charge to anyone who needs it. Clients generally are in one of three groups: recovering from an illness and needing support as they regain their strength; those recovering from joint surgeries (especially hip or knee); and those recovering from an injury.
There is no minimum age requirement, the service is available to everyone.
There are two ways a client can be referred to the Red Cross HELP Program. The first is through Interior Health’s provision program, where an authorized healthcare provider, such as an Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist, will provide a short term referral for appropriate equipment based on the client’s physical and cognitive needs and limitations.
The second way is from an approved healthcare provider from the community, such as family doctors and physiotherapists.