PEI

Red Cross opens another health equipment loan depot in P.E.I.

A new depot in St. Peters Bay will make it easier for residents of eastern P.E.I. to access free wheelchairs and other health-care aids.

Wheelchairs and other aids available to Islanders recovering from illness or injury

Effective Friday, the government is loosening some of the stringent rules governing the Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works. (Shutterstock)

A new depot in St. Peters Bay will make it easier for residents of eastern P.E.I. to access free wheelchairs and other health-care aids.

It's part of a program run by the Canadian Red Cross to help Islanders recovering from an illness or injury. Last fall, a similar depot opened at the O'Leary Community Hospital.

The Health Equipment Loan Program — or HELP — provides loans of wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, bath transfer seats, bath and bed safety rails, commodes and other medical equipment. There's no charge but clients must have a written referral from a health professional. The Red Cross welcomes financial donations to offset maintenance costs.

The P.E.I. government committed $200,000 in its 2014-15 budget to help the Red Cross expand the program with a larger inventory of equipment, more storage and maintenance capacity and a delivery van, and $150,000 annually to offset operating costs including salaries of a Charlottetown-based administrator and an equipment technician.

The St. Peters Bay depot, at 1968 Cardigan Rd., is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is operated by volunteers.

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