I’d like to share one of Sheridan’s best community resources (possibly one of the best kept secrets) — The Hub on Smith’s loan closet. Like many things in life, until we need a certain resource, we may not know it even exists. There are new and exciting changes happening in our loan closet. First of all, I cannot say “Thank you” enough to all the generous people that donate items to the loan closet — without you, we would not have this gem.
We considered changing the name “loan closet” because the name suggests there is no cost to the item being loaned. But it has been the “loan closet” for so long that one more change may only add confusion. We ask for a suggested contribution of $10 per item on most items loaned, $25 for larger items like hospital beds and lift chairs. Items loaned can be used for as long as you need them. Sometimes it’s weeks, maybe months and sometimes much longer. We do our best to provide quality items and service to our community. This is an excellent and cost-effective way to know if an item is right for you. You may want to borrow and test an item before you purchase one of your own or use during a temporary period of need.
You may think that a cane is a cane. What if I told you that we have a variety of canes in our loan closet? We have standard canes (several colors), offset handled canes, folding T-handled canes, quad canes (several sizes) and even a side walker (hemi walker). Then there are walkers — no wheel walkers, two-wheel walkers, walkers with gliders or tennis balls, rollator or four-wheel walkers and even knee walkers. You get the picture.
Before I get too far into this article I’m excited to welcome two new staff members to our team. Marie Byrum and Eric Johnson joined the Family Caregiver Program and are providing support services in our loan closet to better serve you. We also have a team of volunteers specifically working in our loan closet. We want to make sure that when you borrow a piece of equipment, we have done our best to provide a clean and safe item that meets your needs. Many of these items have weight or height specifications and we would not want to loan out a piece of equipment that was not the right item for you. This is why we have to ask questions like: “Is this walker for you?” or “How tall is our dad?” or “Is this the type of walker your doctor or therapist recommended?” If we give you a pair of crutches that are not the right height, they won’t support your need.
We are also changing the hours of the loan closet to better serve you. As of March 1, the loan closet hours will be from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you happen to stop by before noon, our front desk staff will happily take a message. Eric or Marie will call you back. Please feel free to call 307-672-2240 and ask for the Loan Closet anytime during off hours and leave us a message as to your need. Due to lack of space and storage area at The Hub, many of our items are stored at other locations.
Stop by The Hub for a cup of coffee and meet Eric and Marie. Let me know of any other caregiver needs you may have. Please share the secret of The Loan Closet with your friends.
Stella Montano is the director of Family Caregiver Services at The Hub.