How to find a walker and wheelchair for cheap (or free!)

The short answer is . . . I stole it. Well, not exactly, stole it. Just borrowed it.Until I could figure out what where to get my dad a wheelchair of his own.

Dad was discharged from a nursing home after 180 days of rehab and cognitive therapy. Before his fall and nursing home stay, he was using a walker. Now he thought he could get up and go, but he would literally fall down when he tried to stand holding on to the nurses’ station. At the nursing home, he was using their wheelchair and it literally never occurred to me that he wouldn’t take it with him (that’s what stress does!)

With the help from the nursing home physical therapist, I determined that Dad needed the following items at his new home, a memory care assisted living facility.

We found all these items for a total of $125. Follow these steps and see if you can dig up a free walker or wheelchair!

  1. Call your local Center for Independent Living. My local center is called FREED Center for Independent Living and they have a “lending library” of walkers, wheelchairs and other assistive devices. They didn’t have a wheelchair for me but they gave me a walker, a shower bench and a toilet seat riser.
  2. According to Medicare, Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers power-operated vehicles (scooters), walkers, and wheelchairs as durable medical equipment (DME) if the doctor treating your condition submits a written order stating that you have a medical need for a wheelchair or scooter for use in your home.
  3. Look on I didn’t think of it for a wheelchair, but did get a $500 composter from a neighbor for free.
  4. Look on your local Craig’s List. We purchased a wheelchair from a nice woman who bought it for her husband and didn’t need it anymore. But we didn’t know to ask for adjustable arms,which leads me to the next point.

Be aware of the adjustable features you may need. Many doctors and hospitals offer a free “fitting session” for a wheelchair or walker.


And a final tip . . . the seat really needs a c ushion if your senior is sitting in it for any length of time.

For answers to your other eldercare questions and the best links, get your free Care Package Lite.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way as you help your senior in their waning phase of life.

*We may earn a commission for products recommended, but we only mention products that were truly important for our father.