5 gift ideas for your hearing impaired loved ones this Christmas

Sometimes the best Christmas gifts are practical, aimed at helping people complete a task or just have an easier time.

For people with hearing impairments a practical gift could help immensely in their day-to-day lives.

Mainstreet P.E.I.'s Angela Walker spoke with Daria Valkenburg and Annie Lee MacDonald, co-presidents of the P.E.I. chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association about some of the best gifts you can get for your hearing impaired friends and family.

Here's a helpful list of those holiday gift ideas.

1. An amplified telephone and telecoil

These phones offer amplification for those with hearing loss. They also offer a range of ringtones to choose from. There are certain sounds that people who are hard of hearing are unable to hear and other sounds that become very irritating.

An amplified phone also has a telecoil, which can work with those who have a hearing aid or a cochlear implant to achieve sound clarity.  

I think it's just a development that's just going to grow. — Daria Valkenburg

2. A hard of hearing pin

Sometimes it can get a little tiring for your loved ones to communicate they have difficulty hearing.

These buttons —available at the P.E.I. Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association — give people that information during interactions so your loved ones aren't repeating themselves throughout the day.

Angela Walker/CBC

3. A pocket talker

A personal amplifier that helps improve communication in difficult listening environments and can even be used during one-on-one conversations or even watching television.

If your hard of hearing friend or family member is unable to wear a hearing aid this is a great tool.

Some lawyers and government departments have begun to use them to communicate with clients.

"I think it's just a development that's just going to grow," said Daria Valkenburg, co-president of the P.E.I. chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.

"I have had people say they didn't know what it was like to go to bed and sleep at night and not have to worry. - Annie Lee MacDonald

4. A vibrating alarm clock

This could be a useful gift idea for those who have early appointments to get to.

Before sleep, you set the time you would like to wake up and put a small button under your pillow. That button vibrates once your set time arrives and alerts you that it's time to get up.  

"I have had people say they didn't know what it was like to go to bed and sleep at night and not have to worry … now they can sleep comfortably," said Annie Lee MacDonald, co-president of the P.E.I. chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.

5. A Fitbit

Not just for those who are interested in keeping track of their exercise. It's also great for those with hearing loss as the device alerts people with a vibration on the wrist to let them know when they're receiving a text or a phone call.

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