Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Free Hearing Aids for People in Need

Recycling sign

You recycle your garbage, you donate your old clothes, but what is a person to do with their old hearing aids? How about donating them to a charity that will see they get into the hands of less fortunate people? Global initiatives that strive to reduce the impact of hearing loss on disadvantaged segments of society are doing important work to empower the less fortunate in our hearing loss communities. So how can you help create free hearing aids for people in need?

People hearing better receives requests all the time from people who want to know what to do with their old hearing aids. Although some people keep them as a backup pair, others have good insurance on their hearing aids and want to find a way to get their old pair into the hands of someone who can't afford them. If you're one of those people here's why and how you can help!

Why Donate your hearing aids?

It's no secret that kids with hearing loss, even hearing loss in one ear (unilateral hearing loss), are better off when they wear hearing aids. Studies show the use of hearing aids keeps the mind healthy, results in better self-esteem, and helps children achieve developmental markers. 1.1 billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss and not all of those young people in developing or third world countries have the means to afford hearing aids. Even here in the United States, children are in need of this life changing technology. Donating to help these children will ensure a better education and a happier life.

In addition to the needs of children, hearing aids are also incredibly important for adults in every stage of their life. Not only to they help those in the workforce keep their job, but it's been shown that someone with hearing loss who uses a hearing aid makes more money than someone with hearing loss who does not use a hearing aid. Untreated hearing loss has also been tied to dementia and Alzheimer's--two conditions that severely impact health and independence. Hearing aids, in short, are a life changing technology. In fact, a survey of 120,000 hearing aid users from Germany, the UK, the USA, Italy, Switzerland, and France showed that hearing aids dramatically improved quality of life. Why wouldn't you want to make that big of a difference in people's lives?

As the Youtube video below shows, people around the world can benefit from your kindness as you move onto bigger and better with new hearing technologies.

Is it the right time to upgrade my hearing aid?
The first thing to do when you are deciding whether or not to purchase new hearing technologies is to visit your hearing health provider. Most likely, he or she will tell you that the advancements in hearing technologies over the past three years have really been remarkable. Hearing aids like Widex's Unique have an unbelievably high user satisfaction rate, reportedly over 97%. In addition, Oticon has launched hearing aids that focus and improve brain function. The latest in this line is OPN. OPN's preliminary testing shows users with 20% less cognitive overload or stress on the brain. This ability to hear more easily means people remember 20% more. Being better at listening and remembering also means a person can understand more, 30% more according to Oticon's testing.

Don't take our word for it! Visit your hearing health provider and ask to take a pair of hearing aids for a test drive. If you decide to move ahead with a purchase that will improve your life, please think about donating your old hearing aids to improve someone else's life. Below is a list of places you can consider donating to.

Where can I donate?

Lion's Hearing Aid Recycling Program: "The Hearing Aid Recycling Program (HARP) enables Lions to provide affordable, refurbished hearing aids for individuals with limited financial resources."

National Hearing Aid Project: "The National Hearing Aid Project is a unique model and one-of-a-kind collaboration created by Hearing Charities of America (HCOA). It addresses the increased demand for hearing aids by providing hearing aids to low-income individuals on a national scale."

Flying Doctors of America: "For more than 20 years, Flying Doctors of America has been bringing together physicians, dentists, nurses, chiropractors, other health professionals and non-medical support volunteers to care for people who otherwise would never receive professional medical care. We operate under the “Mother Teresa Principle,” focusing on the poorest of the poor who live in conditions that are difficult for most Americans to imagine. Knowing that someone cares renews hope for these people who live in an otherwise hopeless situation."

Starkey Hearing Foundation: "Starkey Hearing Foundation made a commitment in 2010 to Clinton Global Initiative to provide 1 million hearing aids this decade. We continue to travel the globe helping people in need, and to date have given the gift of hearing in more than 100 countries."

Knights of Columbus: "Founded by Father Michael J. McGivney to provide financial aid to immigrants and families suffering from the death of the breadwinner, the Knights of Columbus has now grown into a worldwide financial and charitable organization."

World Wide Hearing: "World Wide Hearing is a non-profit organization that provides access to affordable hearing aids to children and youth in developing countries. We connect people to the world through better hearing."

If you'd like to learn more about what today's new hearing technologies can do for you, please see your hearing health professional. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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