With Valentine's Day just around the corner, you're probably thinking of little gift ideas for the ones you love. Flowers are great, and everyone loves chocolate and other sweets - definitely buy those. But you can also purchase or make something special that shows you were really considering your spouse, family member or friend with hearing loss and his or her needs. Here are our best ideas for your valentine with hearing loss!
There are many great gifts that you can get your spouse, best friend, parent or child to show him or her that you pay attention and want to make living with hearing loss more easy and fun! Our ideas span from technical gifts and assistive listening devices, to fun gifts like lipstick case hearing aid holders and charms.
Thankfully, technology has advanced very rapidly, and there are assistive devices for people with hearing loss that weren't available even five years ago. Consider the gift of one of these tech devices for better hearing, communication and quality of life:
- A captioned telephone. This is a great at-home product for older adults who have trouble hearing on the phone, and it's easy to use.
- The Trellie. This flashing device attaches to the outside of your purse or bag and can alert you when your phone is ringing or vibrating so you don't miss a call. There are also bracelets that people can wear that vibrate to let them know their phones are ringing.
- A neck loop. For someone who wears hearing aids with a telecoil, a neck loop is a great gift because it can amplify sounds using FM in any environment.
- A personal amplifier. These are useful for one-on-one conversations.
- A visual alert system. These systems are good for things like visitors ringing the doorbell, or those that use strobe lights and vibrators to keep people with hearing loss safe by alerting them in case of a fire.
- A device that can amplify the television. That way, your family member or friend with hearing loss won't have to keep turning the TV up, forcing everyone else out of the room. Instead, he or she can listen with personal amplification while everyone else listens at a comfortable volume for them.
Sometimes, it's the little things that mean the most. Here are some more meaningful Valentine's Day gift ideas we love:
- A coupon book. Make and present a coupon book to your spouse or friend with hearing loss. Include things like driving that person to his or her next audiologist appointment; heading to the store to purchase new batteries or tubing; one free hearing aid cleaning; and other things that you think your spouse or friend would like - both hearing loss-related and not, such as a foot massage or a back rub.
- Something with a meaningful saying. One great example is this necklace for hearing loss awareness, which has a sweet quote that says "Hear with your ears, listen with your heart."
- Donate. Make a gift in honor of your friend or family member with hearing loss to a lab that is seeking to cure it!
If there is a child or children in your life that have hearing loss, wear hearing aids or are deaf, there are numerous great gifts for them. Here are some of our best ideas:
There are some wonderful books on the market - many accessible via Amazon - for both children and teens in which a main character has hearing loss. Here are a few examples:
- Rivers' Walk by Nathalie Johnson. This book is written by an audiologist and is about a strong-willed, hearing-impaired bunny who at first resists wearing hearing aids until she realizes how cool they can be.
- Let's Hear it for Almigal by Wendy Kupfer. This sweet story is about a girl named Almigal who gets cotton candy-colored cochlear implants and is very eager to hear her best friend's "teeny-tiny voice" and her parents whisper goodnight when they tuck her in each night. It's a spirited story with a positive message about accepting and embracing differences.
- Max and His Hearing Aids by Emily Mikoski is a great story for young children who wear hearing aids and cochlear implants
- Sway by Jennifer Gibson. This book for pre-teens is about a girl, Jessie, who is hearing-impaired and also navigating the drama of the early teen years. It's based on a true story and is the first in a series about Jessie; the others are "Compass" and "Destiny."
- Will Wonder This is a fun online comic from MED-EL about Will Wonder - a boy with "robot ears" and his dog Audio and the adventures they encounter and embrace.
Valentine's Day is all about romance and fun, right? Well these creative hearing aid accessories are sure to be a hit with your valentine. From fairy wings to hearing aid charms, you can spoil your loved one in style.
- Tube riders: Charms that clip on to the tubing of behind-the-ear hearing aids
- Charms and tube twists: These are designed by 14-year-old Hayleigh Scott, who has been profoundly hard of hearing since birth. Hayleigh is a young entrepreneur who wants people of all ages to show off their hearing aids with bling, rather than be afraid of letting people see them.
- Hearing aid or cochlear implant secure cords: These super cute accessories attach to hearing aids or cochlear implants and clip to clothing. With a collection of felt animals and popular characters, and the ability to clip them to clothing so they won't get lost, these creative cords are a hit with everyone!
- Pilot caps: These soft and cute cotton caps are perfect for infants and toddlers who wear hearing aids or cochlear implants to keep their wandering hands away from their ears.
- Hearing Aid Fairy Wings: More and more individuals are lending their creative services on Etsy to design things for individuals who wear hearing aids. These whimsical wings were a hit with our staff!
- Toy accessories. There are now hearing aids for American Girl Dolls and Build-a-Bears!
DIY Gift Ideas
Finding the right gift for your valentine doesn't have to be expensive! Consider putting together a few of your own do-it-yourself gifts for the individual with hearing loss in your life.
- Lipstick case: A lipstick case makes a great hearing aid container! You can even look for fun sizes, designs and colors to better suit the individual with hearing loss in your life. These can be purchased at low-cost and even decorated to put more personality on them,
- Mason Jar "emergency kit:" A mason jar hearing aid emergency kit makes an excellent gift for anyone with hearing loss. You can easily put this together with things like hearing aid batteries, a lighted magnifying glass, hearing aid case and small toothbrush. Add a hankerchief and some ribbon to give it a more put together look. Back in December we put together a mason jar of goodies for under $25!
- Homemade coupons: Homemade coupons are items you can do for a loved-one with hearing loss they include things like: hearing aid battery changes, driving service to the hearing clinic, scheduling an appointment or cleaning the hearing aids.