Gift ideas for the elderly! or in my case not so elderly!
Many of us faced with buying a gift for an older person shrug and say “I can’t think of anything” when in reality there are some really useful gifts if we just think a little.
Many elderly people, and a few not so elderly, me included!; (a hearing aid user since I was 26 years old) wear hearing aids of one sort or another. There are quite a few helpful accessories that make the wearing of hearing aids so much more effective or just simply keep them running.
It’s a simple fact that if you don’t have any batteries in your hearing aid then it won’t work. Simple but true. Batteries can last anywhere between a week and a month depending on usage of the aid. Mine typically last about ten days before they need replacing and most aids give you a beep about twenty minutes before it fails.
If you have ever tried to put a battery in a hearing aid you will recognise just how difficult it is to do it- Over the last twenty years my hearing aids have become progressively smaller, yet the batteries remain the same size. The easiest batteries to use are the tab batteries. Each battery is fixed to a tab which gives you more to hold as you put the battery in place and then once in place the tab pulls off easily. This would be a really useful gift as putting batteries in is quite hard until you get the knack. Some years ago my daughters actually broke an aid trying to put the battery in!
It is a good idea to check the size of the required batteries as there are two or three different sizes available.If you are not sure take a battery that you know fits into a hearing aid dispenser and they will be able to provide correctly fitting replacements. A good present would not only be the batteries but a weekly visit to make sure the aid is working and help in replacing the battery if it is needed.
Hearing Aid Cleaning Kit
However good your hearing aid may be, if it is blocked with wax it won’t amplify the sound! A good cleaning kit is a must . There are many kits available on the market but make sure that the tools are large enough for you or the wearer to use. Some kits have extras such as a magnetic battery replacement tool, which will give you much more control over battery replacement. Again many older people whose eyesight may be poor would welcome a visit from you to clean the aid for them. I notice the difference now, when I was 20 a quick peek at my aid saw if it was dirty now at 50 I have to get my glasses on and peer at it. Many hearing aid dispensers offer a free cleaning service so again a good present would be to visit an elderly relative and take their aid in for them to get it cleaned.
Wax guards are used to stop the wax getting inside the hearing aid. There are a number of types available and it is a good idea to check before you buy. If you can't find the right size contact your hearing aid distributor as they will probably sell them or advise where they can be bought.
Hearing Aid Dehumidifier
It is a well known fact that unless you have an utra modern disposable hearing aid you cannot wear them in the bath or shower. Sometimes after a bath or shower I just can’t seem to get my ears dry, The water seems to be inside them and seeps out over the next hour or so. If I put my hearing aids in too early then the sound goes fuzzy and stops ,they obviously get wet and It’s so annoying, just as you want to settle down in front of the TV and they don’t work. This excellent product is a dehumidifier which produces a gentle stream of warm air which streams around your aids, gently drying them and causing any wet wax to solidify so that it can be picked up and It’s on my list to buy as I think it would be so useful in preventing damage to the electronics of the aid. Indeed when my aids are full of moisture I take them to the hearing aid dispenser and he dries them out in the dehumidifier but this means I am without them for a day, it would be much more convenient to dry them out at night when I was asleep.
Hearing Aid Wipes
You can buy wipes to clean your aid available in small packs. These are very convenient and as they are separately packed they are really neat to use, a quick wipe and the aid is clean. The problem is when you wear and aid that wax moves around in your ear all the time, so at times you have to move the aid out, and often you find there is a piece of wax on the aid. Although I have got quite quick at cleaning my aid these wipesmean that you can clean it quickly and effectively without too much attention; just as you would clean the lens of your glasses.
Which gift would I welcome?
All of the accessories mentioned will be welcomed by a Hearing Aid user, but if I was being honest, my number one is batteries you just never seem to have enough, they run out when you least expect them. The worse thing is when someone well meaning says why haven't you got a spare packet? You always do have one its just that you use them!If any of my family are reading this I would like a dehumidifier!