Red Cross health equipment loans double in five years

Volunteers needed to create regular office hours in Smithers

The Smithers Red Cross office moved to a new location in June and needs new volunteers to help keep up with rapidly growing demand for health equipment loans across the region.

The Canadian Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program works closely with health care professionals in communities throughout B.C. & Yukon to provide appropriate equipment that allows clients to remain at home longer, safely leave the hospital sooner, or spend their final days in the company of family, friends and pets in familiar surroundings. Equipment for loan at the Smithers office includes walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, and bathroom aids.

The number of people looking to borrow equipment is growing faster in Smithers than at any Red Cross location across Northern B.C. In 2016-17, the Canadian Red Cross loaned 531 pieces of equipment to 231 people in Smithers. That’s more than twice the number of people who borrowed equipment five years ago. The number of pieces of equipment loaned is up by 98 per cent over that same period.

Right now, the Smithers Red Cross office is open based on volunteer availability, but with more volunteers, the Red Cross would like to establish regular office hours and openings.

More information will be given at the Smithers Red Cross Open House on Monday, July 9 from 4-5 p.m. at the Red Cross office at 102-3790 Alfred Avenue. You can find out more by calling 1-844-818-2155 or emailing volunteer@redcross.ca.

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