BARRY’S BAY – There is a garage near St. Francis Memorial Hospital that houses a wealth of items like walkers, crutches and even beds. Instead of doling out up to $5,000 for these pieces of equipment, residents can use them free of charge. Lisa Hubers is the Executive Director for Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care. She and Program Assistant Michelle Michaelis take reservations for the equipment. “We noticed a trend that sometimes people think it’s only for end of life because it’s associated with us,” Hubers said. “We want to make sure that people understand that it’s for people of all ages.” The items can be borrowed by anyone within the catchment area. Some of the items available include beds, wheelchairs, commodes, shower chairs, special cushions, lifts, tub transfer benches and much more. “It can be for end of life challenges and to assist people to stay in their home safer and longer,” Hubers explained. “But it’s also for someone who just had some form of surgery.” Anyone who underwent hip or knee replacement surgeries can borrow equipment, as can families who experience sports injuries. “We have families coming to us because someone hurt themselves and they need a set of crutches,” she said. “We definitely have all types of things. We have a full range of equipment available.” The equipment lending cupboard started in 2013. “We noticed there was a need for people who need equipment who couldn’t afford it,” Hubers said. “We saw people doing without instead of being safe. So we decided to pull some items together. When we put the word out, we ended up getting more and more and more.” Pick up a copy of the June 13, 2018 paper to read the full story.