Islanders in need of items to help during a time of illness or injury may find them — for free — just a phone call away.
In recent months, members of the Vashon Home Care Network, a coalition of private caregivers, have been collecting and lending items helpful during a period of convalescence, ranging from commodes and shower chairs to walkers and personal care products. Dubbed the “Care Closet,” the items are stored at Island Funeral Service and can either be picked up or delivered by one of the caregivers, according to Chris Jovanovich, a longtime caregiver on the island and one of the organizers of the lending program.
“It’s a neat thing that is starting to evolve,” Jovanovich said. “It’s been working out really well.”
Several years back, she noted, Vashon Island Fire & Rescue had such a closet, and caregivers frequently borrowed items for their clients. When that closet program closed, many noted its absence, Jovanovich said, and about a year ago, they began to put this new program together.
Islanders wishing to borrow something for an extended period or a short time are invited to call and find out if the items they are looking for are available. If so, they may borrow them and return them once they are finished. Donations of items that are no longer needed are also welcome.
Lisa Devereaux, the funeral director at Island Funeral Service, said currently the closet has many canes, walkers and Depends available, as well as expensive items, including an electric wheelchair and a scooter.
To request an item or donate one, call the Vashon Home Care Network at 604-3253, Jovanovich at 707-5541 or Devereaux at 799-7480. People should not call the funeral home for this service, she noted.