What problem does it solve? At some point in each family's life, someone usually needs either durable medical equipment (DME) or some other type of assistive device. These items can be costly and, sadly, often used just by one family then discarded if nobody they know can use it. Most of these costly items are then set outside for trash pick up and discarded when the item(s) is still in perfectly good shape and can be used by someone who cannot afford to purchase it themselves if insurance had denied their request. What is your solution and who does it apply to? A statewide database of available free, but slightly used, adaptive equipment (such as shower chairs, hospital beds, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.) and assistive devices (electronics for non-verbal people, specialized feeding equipment, etc.) would save many families money on costly devices and save our landfills and environment by allowing another needy family to obtain items needed to help a loved one without spending money. Families could tap into the database and see what is available to meet their needs. Insurance companies do not cover everything and since most of us are on a limited budget, when a family member becomes suddenly ill (for instance, due to a stroke), and needs a piece of equipment, they can tap into the database and see what is available. This will also work for family members who have worn out their equipment and need something new but insurance will not cover it. What is the anticipated impact? This would allow needs to be met for family members who become suddenly incapacitated or for those who wear out the equipment insurance has purchased. Not only will this help lower income families, it will also be a good plan for people on a fixed income as well as those who simply cannot afford an unexpected expense outside of their budget. Allowing people to donate their slightly used and no longer needed equipment to someone who needs it saves money for everyone. Having the listing of available inventory in a statewide database will allow people to add what they have and allow those who need something to look at what is available. New Jersey families can help each other. The re-using of DME or assistive devices also will allow for less waste in our landfills, helping the environment. It is much better to recycle to someone who can now use it than to throw it out.
My township has a loaner program for this and it works out wonderfully for both the loaner and the borrower.
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