What to Do With Old Hearing Aids
Hearing aids can make all the difference in your life; opening you up to more meaningful social interactions and a better quality of living. But what do you do with your old hearing aids once you upgrade or replace them? Rather than sitting in a draw gathering dust or being thrown in the bin, can old hearing aids be donated or recycled to benefit others? Repurposing your hearing aids means you are doing your part for the planet as well as helping out those who don’t have the means to purchase new hearing devices.
Can old hearing aids be donated?
Hearing impairment can have a huge impact on the lives of those affected. For adults, having a hearing deficit can greatly limit their interaction with others, cause them to miss out on some of life’s simple pleasures, and even affect their ability to get or keep a job. In children, hearing loss can mean diminished uptake of language skills and delayed development. Unfortunately, The World Health Organization estimates that with 278 million people around the world experiencing moderate to profound hearing loss, and the production of hearing aids only meets a tenth of that need. With little access to hearing aids for those in developing countries and those with limited financial means, donating your old hearing aids can make a big impact on someone’s life.
Can old hearing aids be recycled?
Hearing aids can be recycled to assist those in need in various ways, being delivered to different groups of people.
- Repurposing for those struggling financially: This involves used hearing aids being donated to hearing care professionals and being cleaned, serviced and adjusted to suit the specific needs of its recipient who was unable to afford a new hearing aid.
- Refurbishment for developing nations: Some donated hearing aids are repaired and refurbished and sent with volunteers and healthcare professionals on health missions to developing countries, where those in need are fitted with their new hearing aid.
- Components donated to manufacturers: Working components of old hearing aids can be utilised in the manufacture of new ones, with the price of the useful parts being discounted from the completed unit. This makes the end price of the hearing aid cheaper for those with limited ability to pay.
How to donate hearing aids
Donating your old hearing aids is a simple, three-step process.
- Decide which organisation you wish to donate your hearing aid to
- Remove the batteries and package securely
- Post directly to your organisation of choice
Where to donate hearing aids
There are a variety of Australian charities which accept donations of used hearing aids, these include:
Recycled Sound: A project of the Rotary Club, Recycled Sound helps those with diminished hearing, who are financially disadvantaged or ineligible for government assistance including; asylum seekers, refugees, victims of domestic violence and Indigenous Australians.
Hearing Matters Australia (HMA): Established by Macquarie University, HMA reconditions donated hearing devices and issues them to low-income earners who would otherwise not have access to hearing aids.
The Lions Club: The Lions collects thousands of hearing aids annually to be refurbished and provided to those around the world without access to hearing devices.
Need to talk to an audiologist ?
Your local Bay Audio clinicians are on hand to answer any questions you have, or to provide the hearing aid accessories you need.