Equipment Loan Closets

collection of mobility aids: wheelchair, walker, crutches, cane



Equipment loan closets are programs that lend items to people with disabilities. This tip sheet can help people locate equipment to borrow in their community.

What is an equipment loan closet?

Equipment loan closet programs have equipment that people with disabilities can borrow. These programs let people:

    • Try items before buying their own.
    • Have a backup when an item is in for repairs.
    • Use an item while waiting for one to be delivered.
    • Use an item while going through the insurance coverage process.

How long may I keep the equipment?

There are both short-term and long-term loans. The length of a loan varies. Some loan programs let you use the item as long as you need it. Others have a set time period for a loan. But they all expect you to return the item.

How much does it cost?

Most loan closets do not charge a fee to borrow equipment. Some programs require a deposit. They return your deposit when you return the item. Some ask for a cash donation to help with program costs.

What kinds of equipment do they have?

Each loan program has different equipment. Typical items can include but are not limited to: wheelchairs, commodes, canes, walkers, shower chairs, crutches, and hospital beds. There are also specialized loan closets. These programs loan items to people with specific disabilities or needs. These can include people who have trouble speaking or seeing.

How do I find a local program?

The Iowa Compass keeps listings of many loan closets. Follow these directions when searching the website:

  • Type your zip code.
  • Type “Assistive Technology Loan Program” or “Loan Closet” in the “Search by Service Keyword” field.
  • Contact Iowa Compass for help with your search.

Other groups may offer informal equipment loan programs. The groups listed below may have a loan closet in your community. Look for them online.

  • VFW Posts
  • American Legions

Contact local places of worship or clergy to ask for their help. Your own place of worship or its members may help you find equipment. They may ask members from other places of worship or community service groups. Remember that items are often stored away in garages and basements when no longer needed.

When calling a local group, ask:

  • Do they have an equipment loan program?
  • Do they have the item you need?
  • How long can you keep it?
  • How much does it cost?


Disclaimer: This tip sheet is for information only. It cannot guarantee funding. Iowa Compass makes regular updates to give current and accurate information. We cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information.

Developed by Iowa Compass. Last Update: June 30, 2021