UK residents who are suffering from different types and levels of hearing impairment benefit greatly from the variety of quality products available on the UK market or the easy to follow procedures and governmental practices enabling them to get a free hearing aid. They can choose from an abundance of options to obtain the device, depending on their preferences, individual condition or financial wealth. The possibilities are to apply for a free hearing aid through the NHS, go directly to a supplier or order online.
Although most people prefer to participate in the ordering process individually so as to make sure all of their requirements have been properly met, in some cases this may not be possible, leading to the necessity to buy a hearing aid on behalf of another person, for example a relative abroad.
It is not impossible to do this, although the options will be generally limited. The NHS services are, of course, excluded, as is the possibility to visit the provider and directly obtain the hearing aid, because most UK based companies will refuse to supply the device to any other than the actual user. This leaves ordering online the best and most trouble free option that also takes less time.
However, when buying a hearing aid for a relative, there are a number of important points that need to be considered, in order to purchase the most suitable one and avoid any unpleasant complications. First of all, it is crucial to understand that hearing aids are devices that are traditionally “prescribed” individually. Although it is possible to try hearing aids ‘off the shelf’ as pre-set with a hearing loss which is typical of those associated with the natural ageing process.
A more bespoke option would be to provide a hearing test result from your relative. This means that your relative should visit a professional audiologist and undergo several examinations that will make it possible to determine their exact condition, type and level of hearing loss. The audiologist will also be able to give some practical pieces of advice concerning the type and model of hearing aid that will suit the sufferer best. Generally speaking, the smallest and most sophisticated devices are suitable for people that will be able to operate them easily and with good dexterity. Extra attention should be paid when buying a hearing aid for an elderly or chronically ill person, as many devices, especially those overburdened with features might be too difficult to understand and handle. It may be better under these circumstances to choose a device that may not be as cosmetically appealing or small, but will cause less frustration to the user. In all cases when it comes to preferences about colour and general look it is always advisable to consult the wearer. It is also wise to choose a hearing aid with a possibility for a trial period in order to be able to return it in case it does not meet your relative’s needs.