Hearing professionals deliver essential health care and in these critical days, the hearing professionals need to be able to offer hearing health care while at the same time avoid the spread of the virus.
Therefore, The European Association of Hearing Professional has developed a 5-step action plan for hearing aid professionals in Europe. The guidelines include both steps where no medical masks are needed and steps where medical masks are needed.
Communication is essential
Hearing and communication are essential in this COVID-19 period. Individuals, also people with a hearing loss, need to access news reports from television and Internet. In a time when people are practicing social distancing, they need to be able to communicate virtually via phone and other virtual platforms with loved ones. Therefore, hearing professionals need to be able to provide essential care for urgent matters.
Hearing care clients, many in the 65+ age group, are very vulnerable and sensitive to COVID-19, so hearing professionals need to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Hearing professionals should also make sure to also be compliant with local health care guidelines for COVID-19.
Mark Laureyns, the AEA President says: “In nearly all EU countries, the care provided by Hearing Aid Professionals is seen as an essential activity, even during lock-down and state of emergency for COVID-19. It is essential that we can provide quality care for our customers who are in need, specifically if they also work in high priority functions or need to rely on their hearing to stay informed and to be connected by phone or other media to their loved ones. It is heart-warming to see how all our AEA member associations gave us a lot of very good support and input and that we all join forces to develop guidelines to provide appropriate care for hard of hearing people in these days of COVID-19 challenges.”
The guidelines can be found at the homepage of The European Association of Hearing Professionals. www.aea-audio.org. A direct link to the guidelines is here (in English)