Did you know that ALSBC has an equipment loan program?

by | Apr 24, 2024 | Financial Aid | 0 comments

There’s a wonderful sense of community across the home medical industry, with accommodating patient care as our shared magnetic north.

A perfect example of our collective holistic approach to patient-centred solutions is the Robert R. Heinrich Equipment Loan Program offered by the ALS Society of BC (ALSBC). This ingenious program seeks to give individuals diagnosed with ALS access to the essential assistive equipment they need to help them cope better with the mobility and independence challenges presented by their condition.

ALSBC understands that patient access to equipment and assistive devices is essential for the safety, comfort and functioning of individuals living with ALS. The program is designed to help reduce the financial burden and enhance the quality of life for these patients. Given that an ALS patient can require up to $160,000 in equipment during their fight against ALS, the lone program can make a huge difference in the lives of patients and families.

Quick links

Available equipment

All equipment is subject to availability; the equipment catalogue lists the full range of products available with details on the available devices. Available equipment includes the following:

Mobility assistance and lifts

  • Walkers
  • Wheelchairs
  • Scooters
  • Ramps
  • Patient transfer lifts
  • Ceiling track systems

Bedroom and other equipment

  • Hospital beds
  • Mattresses and pressure relief systems
  • Lift chairs

Bathroom assistance

  • Commodes
  • Bath lifts
  • Benches

In seeking to offer the latest equipment and devices, the program now also offers a range of advanced technology items such as Obi robotic feeding devices, Tango hydraulic office chairs, Google Home and Chromecasts, and more. Like the list above, all items are subject to availability.

How to participate in the Robert R. Heinrich Equipment Loan Program

The program is open to all patients who are registered with ALSBC and have a prescription form completed by a healthcare professional such as an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or speech-language pathologist. Once the PDF form has been completed, the healthcare professional must email it to equipmentloan@alsbc.ca.

After the loan is approved, the equipment is prepared and shipped to the patient’s home. ALSBC staff will even follow up after the delivery with a call to ensure everything is functioning well. Talk about exceptional white-glove service, all compliments of ALSBC!

Donate your used equipment now

ALSBC’s goal is to fulfill 100% of all equipment prescription forms received. Naturally, the program would not be possible without donations made to the program from the community. With over 2,000 equipment requests made in 2023, there is always a need for more equipment.

If you have the financial means to purchase your own equipment or enjoy extended coverage through an insurance policy that funds your home medical equipment purchase, you may want to consider donating your used equipment to the program for future participants. An equipment donation is a great way for those within the ALS community to support others afflicted with this challenging disease.

“A lot of our equipment inventory comes from donations,” agrees Billie Doyle, Equipment Loan Manager with ALSBC. “We are very grateful to the people within the community who enable us to keep this program running and assist those living with ALS and PLS.” Equipment is also purchased out of ALSBC’s yearly budget, including money raised through a variety of fundraising initiatives.

  • If you can donate a piece of equipment, please send the following details to equipmentloan@alsbc.ca
  • Equipment type and description
  • Approximate age of equipment (2 years or less in age accepted)
  • Location of equipment
  • Your first and last name
  • Telephone number

Upon receipt, ALSBC’s equipment loan manager will contact you within 1-2 business days.

“Our equipment users are so grateful for this program,” Billie continues. “We get a lot of ‘thank yous’, especially at the end of their journey. People are especially impressed with how quickly we get the equipment out to them; we’re passionate about ensuring they feel comfortable as soon as possible.”

Move to Cure ALS

Don’t have any equipment to donate but would love to support ALSBC? Why not participate in the Move to Cure ALS. This yearly fundraising event is coming to the West Kootenays on Saturday, June 1 at Trail’s Gyro Park. Learn how you can get involved at the event website.

Have any questions about the ALSBC Robert R. Heinrich Equipment Loan Program or other funding resources in BC? Contact us now to speak with one of our home medical equipment specialists. We also offer a Guide to Getting Care and Support in the Kootenays which you can request on our website at your convenience.