Free walker clinic for Edmonton's less fortunate
Elizabeth McConnell was one of 40 people who attended the free clinic at Boyle Street Community Centre on Feb. 13, 2020. (Jay Rosove/CTV News Edmonton)
EDMONTON -- Students from the University of Alberta’s Occupational Therapy program hosted a free walker clinic at the Boyle Street Community Centre all day Thursday.
"Our involvement is sort of providing and advocating for vulnerable people and just providing whatever they need," U of A Occupational Therapy student Jessica Tai said.
Partnering with Alberta Health Services, the clinic aims to help Edmonton’s less fortunate, with mobility issues, navigate the system to get a walker.
Twice a year Boyle Street community members can use the clinic to be assessed to see if they qualify for a free new walker, or have their current walker repaired
"Folks experience multiple barriers. Usually that can be financial barriers," Kaitlin Lauridsen, Boyle Street Community Services' manager of mental wellness told CTV News.
"A lot of times to go through mainstream services you need a set address and people who are experiencing homelessness or living rough; that’s obviously a barrier to accessing medical equipment."
Elizabeth McConnell is one of 40 people who took advantage of the clinic Thursday.
"I'm here every day, but I walk from where I sleep to here and I stay here all day." She said. "If I didn't have this walker I'd be sitting. Sitting, sitting, sitting."
The new walkers come from Boyle Street's partner Healthcare Solutions. Boyle Street also runs a campaign to seek used walkers for people who aren't eligible for new ones. These walkers are donated by seniors home care facilities, healthcare agencies, or the general public.
On average, a new walker costs $450.