When it comes to giving gifts for people with hearing loss, there are two ways to go – practical gifts, things the recipient will find useful but wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves; or luxury items, gifts to indulge the recipient.
When you have hearing loss, undoubtedly, some things about daily life are just that bit more difficult than they were when you had good hearing – such as following conversations, understanding dialogue on television, making phone calls, or knowing when someone’s at the door.
Think about what aspect of life your loved one with hearing loss is affected by most. If you know they’d welcome a practical gift that would make communication easier, we hope our ideas will inspire you:
Practical Gift Ideas for Hearing Aid Users
Gifts for Life
Hearing Loss-Friendly Alarm Clock
For friends and family members who can’t hear well enough to be woken by an alarm clock, there are several alternative alarms available. There are sunrise/bodyclock alarms, which Bodyclock alarm clock enable you to wake with a natural, gradually brightening light.
Alternatively, there are vibrating alarm clocks and ones with vibrating pads that can be placed under the pillow.
Hearing loss-friendly smoke alarm
There are various flashing/vibrating smoke alarms available, including ones that come with an attachment that goes under the pillow and vibrate to alert a sleeping person when the alarm is triggered.
Hearing loss-friendly door bell
For those who don’t always hear the doorbell, you could buy a portable doorbell chime or flashing alerter. There are many different products on the market and they all aim to ensure people are alerted when a caller comes to the door.
Additionally, a flashing door beacon is a simple device that hooks onto a door, ready to be activated by the slightest vibration. A knock on the door or the door being opened sets off the flashing light, which gives a clear visual alert that someone is entering the room.
Gifts of Entertainment
Hearing Aid Accessories
Hearing Aid accessories can help deaf or hard-of-hearing people who wear hearing aids a better listening experience.
The Phonak ComPilot offers excellent stereo sound quality by connecting hearing aids via Bluetooth to a variety of audio sources: cell phones, MP3 players, tablets, laptops and computers. Combine with Phonak TVLink to turn your hearing aids into wireless headphones, or with Phonak RemoteMic for better understanding over distance.
The Phonak ComPilot also allows you to attach a Roger X receiver to use Roger Pen in loud noise and over distance, or to connect a 3.5 mm audio plug for direct audio input. With extended battery life, the ComPilot offers extra-long streaming time, too.
“I can use the telephone with confidence, I can listen to music on an iPod, and I can hear speech and dialogue really clearly on TV. I’d simply be lost without them now.” – Anne Davies, Head of Audiology Training & CPD Principal Clinical Scientist, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, England
For Phonak hearing aid users who struggle to follow dialogue on TV, the Phonak TVLink – used in combination with ComPilot or ComPilot Air – enables hearing aid users to receive sound directly into their hearing aids by turning their hearing aids into wireless stereo headphones. The streaming distance of up to 100ft allows the listener to move around the house without missing a moment of whatever they’re watching.
For those who wear hearing aids and struggle to hear well enough to use a telephone, there are a few alternative solutions.
Cordless Phone for the Home
The Phonak DECT phone is a cordless phone can be used by the whole family, but it is unique in its ability to connect automatically and wirelessly to Phonak hearing aids. This makes it easier for hearing aid users to hear telephone conversations, as there’s no need for any wires or extra devices and, no need to manually change the hearing aid program.
EasyCall for Cell Phones
Phonak Easy Call with Tinnitus Balance App
For hearing aid users who struggle to hear voices on a mobile phone, the gift of a Phonak EasyCall might be just the thing this festive season. This direct-streaming solution wirelessly connects Phonak hearing aids to the user’s cell phone. Easily attached to any cell phone, it streams conversations directly to both hearing aids.
We hope these practical gift ideas for hearing aid users have given you some inspiration for your holiday shopping! Do you have any other gift ideas? Let us know in the comments!
Phonak hEARo, Angie is a freelance journalist, copywriter, website designer and social media consultant. (www.aspinallink.co.uk) She lives in Scotland with her husband Richard, and their Westie, Tilly. Angie was diagnosed with Otosclerosis in her right ear at the age of 30. In 2011, she suffered sudden profound hearing loss in her left ear. She now uses a Phonak CROS II with a Phonak Audéo V hearing aid. You can follow Angie's international discussion group #HearingLossHour on Twitter @hearinglosshour.