Q. I just got new hearing aids and am wondering if there is somewhere I can recycle my old ones. They are so expensive that I hate to just throw them away when someone else could be using them.
"Ear of the Lion" is a Lions Club International non-profit program designed to meet the hearing needs of low-income individuals. Its purpose is to insure that no one walk around isolated from family and friends due to a correctable hearing loss because of a lack of funds.
The program begins with the collection of used hearing aids in the community by Burbank Noon Lion members. Local audiologists are recruited to participate in the Ear of the Lion's Network of Cooperation, providing licensed care for patients.
Potential recipients complete an application to determine eligibility. Those qualifying are then given tests by an audiologist to determine their specific needs. Used hearing aids are cleaned, reconditioned and reshelled by a competent repair service to meet the client's prescription.
Fittings and adjustments are provided by the audiologist and the Ear of the Lion recipient is once again able to hear — provided at no cost by the Burbank Noon Lions, except for a $150 per hearing aid loan fee.
Statistics show that 24 million in the US have significant hearing loss. Two million of them are under 18 and one-third of older Americans have hearing problems. Hearing loss is the third leading chronic disability following arthritis and hypertension in older Americans. Many in the community, young and old, live in isolation due to hearing loss because of the prohibitive cost of purchasing hearing aids.
To donate your used hearing aids, contact Marva Murphy at (818) 955-8018 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Those interested in completing an eligibility application, or those who know someone who may qualify, may contact Terry Brooks at (800) 327-8077.
NANCY TURNEY received a bachelor's degree in social work and a certificate in gerontology. If you have a specific question you would like answered in this column, e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Turney at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA, (818) 790-0123, ext. 225.