For many years our practice has accepted donations of hearing aids that are no longer being used. Some of these came from patients who passed away, and others from those who upgraded to newer technology. Now, to celebrate World Hearing Day 2021, and it’s theme ‘Hearing Care for All’, we are running our first ever Donations Drive to fill up our stock of donatable hearing aids and help more people hear better. But what happens to the donated hearing aids that we receive?
When you donate your hearing aid, whether part of the Donations Drive or any other time, we ask you to complete a form confirming that it belongs to you. The aids will be assessed and sanitised by an audiologist and all consumables such as tubes, domes, and batteries are disposed of. The donation will be documented and filed. The audiologist will determine whether the donation is ‘reusable’, i.e. can be passed on to another patient. If it is, it will be added to our in-house stock of donations, where it will wait to be matched to an ideal and deserving recipient. If it cannot be reused, it will be donated to the Audiology program at UCT for student training.
Which hearing aids can be reused?
Not every hearing aid is donatable. We can only pass on functional hearing aids that can be reprogrammed for use by another person with hearing loss. This means they must be less than 6 years old, and must be behind-the-ear or receiver-in-the-canal style. Older, custom-made or damaged hearing aids cannot be donated to another user.
However, should you wish to donate your older hearing aids, custom units, or accessories, they will not be thrown away. All hearing aids donated to our practice are directed to somewhere that they can be used- for example, older and custom hearing aids can be used by students to learn troubleshooting and programming.
Who will receive my donated hearing aid?
Due to privacy laws, we cannot reveal the recipient to you, nor can we reveal the donor’s identity to the recipient.
Donations will be offered to eligible patients of Francis Slabber & Associates after undergoing a full diagnostic hearing assessment charged at private rates. This is required to determine the type and degree of hearing loss in order to see whether we have appropriate donations available. Only those who cannot afford to purchase new hearing aids are eligible to receive a donated hearing aid from the practice, and proof of need must be provided. People with adequate medical aid benefits for hearing aids do not qualify to receive a donated hearing aid. The recipient doesn’t pay for the donated hearing aid(s) but must be prepared to cover the cost of the tests, refurbishment of hearing aid(s), consumables, and fitting or fine-tuning consultations. Recipients may only receive a donation of two hearing aids once. Donation products carry no warranty unless otherwise stated. Contact us for more information about the costs and processes involved to receive a donated hearing aid.
What happens to donated hearing aids? Any hearing aid that is donated can be used- whether it can be passed on to another person with hearing loss, or serve the very important purpose of preparing future audiologists, they are all valuable. If you’d like to donate your old hearing aid, contact our practice. Don’t forget about our March 2021 Birthday and World Hearing Day promotion, where donating your old, reusable hearing aids can help you towards purchasing your new set. Find out about this promotion here.