COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A local nonprofit rounded up wheelchairs and other medical equipment Wednesday to help people with arthritis move independently.
In honor of World Arthritis Day, LifeCare Alliance accepted donations of new and used mobility equipment and other assistive technology at its South Hilltop location. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Columbus residents dropped off wheelchairs, walkers, bath seats, grabbers, folding grocery carts and other equipment for the nonprofit to distribute to arthritis patients in the community.
Arthritis refers to more than 100 conditions that cause joint inflammation, pain and stiffness. More than 28% of Ohioans were told by a health professional in 2020 that they had arthritis — higher than the national average of 24.5%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
With the CDC reporting arthritis as a leading cause of disability in the U.S., mobility equipment such as wheelchairs or grabbers can relieve joint pain and help those with the condition live independently while avoiding risk of injury.
It’s important to get unused equipment out of garages and basements and to the people who need it, LifeCare Alliance President and CEO Chuck Gehring told NBC4.
“We get calls all the time about durable medical equipment that’s left over after the loved one passes or doesn’t need it anymore: ‘What do I do with the wheelchair? What do I do with the walker?’ And they really struggle to find someone who will take it,” Gehring said. “We’ve always taken it as a donation, because many of our clients are elderly or chronically ill and need it. Now that we’re going into the arthritis services, we desperately need even more and more of it.”