View Full Version : Now what shall I do with the wheelchair???

02-05-2002, 05:51 PM
I'm hoping someone out there will have some suggestions for me. My Mom has some health problems and great difficulty getting around on her own. She and Dad contacted Medicare or Medicaid (not sure which) about getting an electric scooter for her to use. The woman they spoke with insisted that the only thing that would be covered is a wheelchair - that they couldn't get a scooter. Turns out that wasn't true but my parents believed the woman so they got the wheelchair, but Mom didn't use it. The main reason is that it's heavy and difficult to assemble and disassemble to load in the car to take places (the mall, parks, etc). A lift for their car is too expensive for them to buy one. I suspect that there may be some reluctance on Mom's part to use the wheelchair, too. She's in her mid-sixties and not ready emotionally to be getting around in a wheelchair just yet.
Medicare/Medicaid won't take the chair back and get them a scooter. So, now Mom still isn't able to go anywhere and Dad doesn't go much of anywhere either because he doesn't want to go without Mom.

They are retired and living in Florida. This isn't the way they (or I) had pictured their golden years. So I bought them the scooter. Best money I ever spent - they're galivanting all over the place together and finally enjoying themselves. The scooter is light and easy to pull apart and load in the trunk of the car, so Dad has no trouble with that part. I'm absolutely delighted everytime I get email from Mom saying how much she loves the scooter.

Okay, so here's the dilemma - what to do with the electric wheelchair??? I'm told it sells for $5000 and it has hardly been used. Let me say right now that I'm not looking to sell it. I just want to donate it to some organization that can put it to good use. Of course, I'd love to get some tax benefit for doing so, but that isn't my main concern. I want to find someone who will go to my parents' home and pick it up and take it away - I'm in NH and I can't do it, and I don't want my parents to have to deal with delivering it.

I'd be grateful for your suggestions. I can do some research from here, making phone calls, etc. once I have a direction to go in. It's just a little tricky to even begin when I'm so far away from them.

Many thanks in advance for your ideas.

- E.

02-05-2002, 06:26 PM
My church has a "medical supply closet" that loans long term care supplies to members and their families. I don't know if you have a home church (or have a friend/family member that does), but I'm sure that would be tax deductable and a for a good cause as well.

02-05-2002, 06:34 PM

Gosh-it's so hard when our parents get older. I guess if you we're not in the need of money, I would try to donate the chair to a retirement hotel. I'm sure most places like these can always use an extra chair. Make sure you get a receipt for your taxes. I wish I could give you some other ideas, but this is all I could come up with. I'm glad to hear that you we're able to help your mom out with the scooter, so she and your dad are not home bound. Good luck

02-05-2002, 06:39 PM

what a thoughtful daughter you are! I did a quick Internet search and found Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technologies at http://http://www.faast.org/ It looks like you could contact them, as they have a service where people can donate assistive equipment such as wheelchairs, scooters, etc.

Another option may be a local VA hospital.

02-06-2002, 06:29 AM
If you donated you MUST have a receipt for your taxes. Any donation over $250 required the receipt.

That's great of you to donate something so expensive. I'm sure there are plenty of places that would be happy to go pick up such a great donation.


02-06-2002, 10:40 AM
Try calling the United Way for the area your parents live in. They can usually give you a list of organizations who could use the items (or services) you want to donate.

Julie O
02-06-2002, 02:38 PM
I would recommend two organizations in particular: the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Multiple Sclorosis (sp?) Foundation. Nearly all of the clients for both organizations eventually need a power wheelchair. Many do not qualify for one with their health insurance providers, and it can be difficult to get through the Medicare system, especially for children with MD. The clients can use the equipment on a temporary basis until they get through the system to get their own equipment. I can send you the phone number for the Florida MDA chapter if you'd like. The clients really appreciate the help that these equipment closets can provide. My husband has borrowed a manual wheelchair several times in the past from MDA. We would have had a lot of difficulty getting by without it. It's really wonderful that you're thinking about donating it rather than selling it. It would sell easily in Florida because there's a huge market for them. If you change your mind and decide to sell it, there's a magazine called the Disabled Dealer (I think) that specializes in ads for medical equipment in Florida. The company is on the web, but I'm not sure of the address.

02-07-2002, 03:46 PM
Many thanks to all of you who took the time to pass along your ideas and suggestions. I'll start doing some research and making some calls. I'll be going to see them at Easter so perhaps we can get someone to pick it up while I'm there.

I appreciate your help!

- E.

02-08-2002, 04:00 PM
I just heard a commercial for Lexus that they (at least in the Chicago area) are accepting wheelchairs for donation. It said regardless of condition, they'll accept them, refurbish them, and donate to those in need. Worth giving your local dealer a call.

02-08-2002, 04:31 PM
There was just an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch w/in the last couple of weeks about this very thing. Good Will is desperate to get good quality used health care item like this. They need canes, chairs, shower seats, etc. All are tax deductable & you know they go to a good cause.