The price of new hearing aids is a mountain too high for many people. That’s why I work with Hampton Roads area Lion’s Clubs to help people hear better. Lions International is better known for collecting glasses but they also collect used hearing aids.
When I evaluate a donated hearing aid I look for a couple of things. The style needs to be behind-the-ear. The custom, in-the-ear style typically can’t be used because, though ear anatomy is similar from ear to ear, there are little differences that almost always make the custom aids unusable for another person. A behind-the-ear aid can be adapted to many different hearing losses. All I have to do is make a new ear mold.
The manufacturer can be a barrier to the re-use of a hearing aid. If it’s from Miracle Ear, Beltone, Audibel, or Avada, I can’t program it because these companies only allow their stores to have their hearing aid software. If you can find someone from one of these companies who is willing to work with the Lions, more power to you.
Please consider donating your used, behind-the-ear hearing aids to the Lions. Brands I prefer are Unitron, Phonak, Starkey, Oticon, and Widex. If an aid doesn’t work, but is intact and less than 10 years old, I can usually send it for repair.