- Published on 08 November 2013
Several hearing aid recycling initiatives are already in place in Canada. The Hamilton Spectator reported in October on a new program in Ontario that provides an answer to the question of what to do with hearing aids that are no longer needed, but that are still in excellent condition.
The Hear More Canada hearing clinic has recently set up a hearing bank to collect second-hand hearing aids. Their project aims to recondition used devices before they are donated to people in need who cannot afford to buy a new pair, or who are falling through the healthcare net. For many people on lower incomes, the price of new hearing aids is prohibitive. According to Sarah Clews, marketing manager for the Plains Road East clinic, hearing aids can cost between $ 895 and $ 3,000 or even more, putting them well out of reach of some people with hearing loss. "We have people whose parents have passed away, and they now have a couple-thousand-dollar pair of hearing aids just sitting in a drawer. We have people asking 'what can I do with them?'", she explains. Hearing aids in good condition are to be recycled and distributed locally to people in need.
Peter Hutton, chairman of the local social assistance group, says that programs like hearing banks should help bridge the gap until a more sustainable solution is found that will provide lower-income residents with the hearing care they require. "But we can't wait for that long-term solution much longer." He adds that recent changes in health benefits have made it difficult, particularly for seniors, to navigate the system.Source: The Hamilton Spectator