Baylor Scott & White has teamed up with an Austin-based heath organization to offer equipment loans for those with financial needs.

The AGE of Austin (originally called the Austin Group for the Elderly) is an organization that provides support and education to individuals that are, or are expected to reach, an elderly age group.

The organization helps more than 3,000 elderly individuals with programs geared towards things like healthcare and computer classes. 

Another program is health equipment lending, which helps individuals gain contact with health equipment they can’t afford. Supplies can include wheelchairs, walkers, rollators and shower chairs.

Baylor Scott & White has partnered with AGE of Austin to create a loan that helps these affordability issues.

Baylor Scott & White –Taylor ’s Emergency Department Trauma Coordinator Brenda Vega said the idea for the loan was a collaborative effort with AGE Director of Marketing and Communications Rob Faubion after seeing a dire need for it.

“[Him and] I spoke after one of the East Williamson County Collaborative meetings regarding getting medical equipment in the area,” she said. “I explained the needs we see as a hospital and he stated there was a warehouse full of equipment. [Then] I found a storage place in the hospital for the equipment.”

Vega said the hospital has patients that are discharged from medical surgery and the emergency department who need home medical equipment, like raised toilet seats, shower chairs and walkers. 

The patients either don’t qualify for funding, don’t have insurance or can’t afford it. 

“Some of the main reasons they need [equipment] are [because they either] live alone, are homeless, have no one to help [them] or they have no income or resources,” she said.

For right now, Vega wants to be able to provide equipment access to people who are in dire straits, but she hopes to permanently decrease injuries among patients.  

“I believe the short-term impact will be providing equipment access to those in urgent need [for] senior citizens that live alone, people who have low or no income, those who are uninsured and those who are homeless,” she said. “My hope for a long-term impact is to decrease the number of patients we see return with fall injuries.”

Anyone who would like to use the equipment can call the main hospital line at 737-888-3100. You do not have to be a Baylor Scott & White patient.

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