Betty Vosters-Kemp, BC-HIS
Hearing Healthcare Provider, Owner
For some people with serious hearing loss, hearing aids just aren’t enough. Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) allow these people to understand speech in situations where their hearing aids aren’t enough. The holidays are a time when families and friends get together to enjoy each other’s company, but with hearing loss, these get-togethers can be stressful and tiresome. Below are some great gift ideas to help your loved one with hearing loss to cope better during the holidays and throughout the year.
Dad and Grandpa can hear the Thanksgiving Day football games without blasting everyone else out of the room. There are several widely available TV devices that allow a listener to turn the volume up on a set of earphones to a level that can be understood while others in the room listen at a comfortable volume. TV Ears, Sennheiser, and Clearsounds ClearBlue Bluetooth TV listening are some suggestions of easy-to-install and easy-to-use systems.
Make sure they arrive on time with vibrating alarm clocks and watches. The Amplicom TCL 200, Shake Awake, Bellman & Symfon Pro, and Sonic Bomb are good examples of devices that include an exceptionally loud alarm with vibration to get the hearing impaired person’s attention. Several watches are available as well and include the Freestyle Shark Buzz 2.0, Timex T49854, and Casio G-shock.
Give Grandma an amplified telephone so that she can stay connected to her friends and family. Clarity, ClearSounds, Amplicom, and Panasonic are makers of quality telephones, both corded and cordless, that ease conversation for both parties. For individuals who do not benefit from an amplified telephone, the CapTel® captioned telephone is a good choice and are available for free through the California Telephone Access Program to state residents.
For the cell phone user, neck loops provide hands-free connectivity to hearing aids. The ClearSounds CLA7v2 connects to a cell phone, cordless phone, and any other audio device. The ClearSounds Quattro connects to the above devices and the TV.
Many hearing aids are equipped with Bluetooth capabilities whether the user realizes it or not. The use of special device(s) available from the hearing aid manufacturer makes them compatible with the TV, telephone, and cell phone. The Starkey Surflink, Phonak iCom, Oticon Streamer and Unitron uDirect are examples of such technology. Check with a hearing healthcare provider or audiologist to see which of these Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) your loved one would benefit from.