DERRY — A local nonprofit now has added support for making sure medical equipment is kept extra clean.

Community Caregivers of Greater Derry and its Loaner's Closet for Durable Medical Equipment now has a new partner for making sure the organization's equipment is sanitized and ready to be loaned out to people in need.

Caregivers acquired a HUBSCRUB recently, equipment designed to disinfect and sanitize medical equipment, and a welcome addition to what the Caregivers have done for decades, officials say.

Caregivers Executive Director Cindee Tanuma said the machine that she described as similar to a small car wash, was on the organization's wish list.

Now with the ongoing pandemic, the Governor's Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery's COVID grant program, along with the Cogswell Benevolent Trust, collectively awarded Caregivers the $20,000 needed to purchase the machine.

Caregivers got its original start in Derry, helping elderly and disabled people to remain independent in their homes. The organization moved to Londonderry for several years prior to its return to Derry last fall

The new 4,100-square-foot space is the home of the former Children’s Metamorphosis Museum in the lower level of the 6 West Broadway space. 

Through Caregivers’ strong volunteer network, people are offered support with cleaning, shopping, transportation and other services and tasks. Towns served in addition to Derry are Londonderry, Chester, Sandown, Danville, Windham and Hampstead.

Having HUBSCRUB in the building is a welcome addition to what the organization does, Tanuma said.

HUBSCRUB, a company based in Manchester, features a programmable touchscreen display with simple instructions to put the cleaning, washing and UV light treatment into action, all necessary steps needed to make sure Caregivers' effort to loan out medical equipment through the Loaner's Closet is done safely, and completed within six minutes and using only four gallons of water. The machine can accommodate a 24-inch, fully-opened bariatric wheelchair. 

Previously, the equipment had to be washed by hand, Tanuma said, adding that was often a tedious method. 

"We are going to step up the game," she said the day the HUBSCRUB arrived at Caregivers' new location at 6 West Broadway in downtown Derry, "and to make sure the public knows we are safe."  

The Loaner’s Closet began years ago with Caregivers' noticed a big need in the communities serviced for elderly or disabled people to be able to borrow quality medical equipment when needed.

Wheelchairs, walkers, bath seats and many other items now fill a room at Caregivers' new space, ready to be loaned out for short- or long-term needs.

Add in the pandemic challenges and the Loaner's Closet became more valuable a service to support people who might not be able to afford the equipment. 

Tanuma hopes to do additional outreach to the community to let people know about what Community Caregivers offers and the steps being taken to make sure clients are kept safe.

The Closet remained opened every day since last March, offering curbside pickup of equipment while the new space was being planned and readied to be opened.

Last year, the Loaner's Closet gave out 2,800 pieces of medical equipment, while also giving away more than 900 cases of other medical items, like nutritional drinks and other products.  

The Loaner's Closet is available daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone needing more information can call 603-432-0877, ext. 3, or visit Caregivers at comcaregivers.org/loaners-closet.

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