A Community Needs Assessment by a Red Deer Not-For-Profit says their biggest need to ensure they can continue to help Central Albertans, is a new facility.
The Lending Cupboard released their community needs assessment in Red Deer this morning, after spending several months researching the health of Central Albertans, so they can plan for their future.
The not-for-profit organization offers medical equipment to sick or injured people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford the expensive but necassary equipment.
Executive Director Dawna Morey says the results from their assessment show they need to expand to meet the growing needs of Central Albertans.
"We've had a building committee in place since we went through our original strategic planning. What we did was critically go through an assessement of our building. Because it's one thing to say it's too small, but are there things that we could be doing within that facility to make it work for us."
The answer to that is not really.
Morey says the Lending Cupboard is so busy, they've had to use a sea-can in their parking lot and an overflow warehouse to keep the 16,000 pieces of equipment.
80 percent of which is usually being loaned out and used at one time.
Morey says last year they served nearly 9000 people, and although they're not at a crisis point, they could reach it soon.
"I would like to say we're bursting, and we need help to be able to expand. The other part of that is that as those numbers have increased, we need to make sure AHS and our Government are aware that it's happened in some respects because of the desisions they've made, and therefore it's impacting us."
Their assesment also pointed out a need to extend their hours, and gain more volunteers in order to meet the need of an aging population.
As for some other key findings, their study says by the year 2036, roughly 20% of Alberta's population will be over the age of 65.
Presently the communities of Wetaskiwin, Stettler, Olds, and Ponoka, already have those numbers.
They also say virtually every disease and disorder relevant to the equipment they provide is on the rise in our Province.