AN ONLINE platform that shares cleaned and safety-checked aged care equipment with people who need it is fighting the war on waste and changing the life of in-home care clients in Melbourne.
The Library of Aged Care Things is part of the One Good Street social networking initiative developed by Matiu Bush, business innovation senior strategist at aged care provider Bolton Clarke.
The initiative supports older people in the community, carers and family members looking after older parents, particularly those who are financially disadvantaged.
More than 40 At Home Support clients are already using equipment donated to the library, helping them stay independent at home for longer.
Mr Bush said donated equipment is distributed free of charge. It is cleaned, tagged and tested before being delivered to its new owner.
“With family members often having to buy expensive equipment quickly and under pressure, this project takes some of the financial worry away,” he said.
“Families can donate pre-loved equipment they are no longer using, which means people can make their home care package funding go further and do more things they enjoy.
We are working to prevent good quality equipment ending up in landfill. It’s a win-win situation.
“Often when delivering items, our nurses and personal care workers discover the person also needs several other pieces of equipment we are able to provide.
“We are working with other service organisations who assist us with extra storage to prevent good quality equipment ending up in landfill. It’s a win-win situation.”
Melbourne client Maria is one example of how the the Library of Aged Care Things can help clients.
Maria has cellulitis and did not have a comfortable chair to sit in and elevate her legs.
“Maria only had a small, uncomfortable chair in her lounge area that she rarely used – instead she would sit on a plastic chair in her kitchen,” Bolton Clarke social worker Anna Gleeson said.
“She needed a recliner chair but it would have taken years to locate the funding she needed and save for the difference in cost.”
Thanks to the library, Maria found an electric recliner chair.
Items already donated include electric beds, mobility scooters and walkers as well as food supplements and personal care items.