Gift of hearing welcomed by local senior

It's a whole new world for Elsie Chandler of Kelowna after receiving two recycled hearing aids from NexGen Hearing.

  • Nov. 25, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Elsie Chandler (second from right) with NexGen Hearing staff (from left) receptionist Bonnie

At the age of 96, it’s become a whole new world for Kelowna senior Elsie Chandler. Santa has come early this year for Chandler, the recipient of new hearing aids from NexGen Hearing in Kelowna.

NextGen was contacted by Seniors Outreach, saying Chandler was in need of hearing aids but couldn’t afford to pay for them. A Christmas tree decorated with stars with a wishlist of gifts for less fortunate seniors had Chandler’s name on it.

Within a few days, Chandler was contacted, brought to the NextGen centre on Gordon Drive in Kelowna by her visiting son, and she was outfitted with a pair of recycled hearing aids.

“It’s unbelievable. I can hear everything now,” Chandler said.

NextGen audiometric technician Lisa Gunn said the outgoing and vivacious Chandler, who still lives on her own in an apartment, was emotional about receiving the hearing aids, overwhelmed by the generosity of others.

“It was pretty amazing as soon as the hearing aids were put in place. She was just blown away by what she could hear. We were both in tears,” Gunn said.

Colin VanBergen, the owner of the NextGen store on Gordon Drive that assisted Chandler, said the company has a program of receiving hearing aids from people who have passed away or don’t use them anymore, ensuring the hearing aids are in working order and passing them on to those who are financially unable to deal with their hearing issues.

“They are second hand but we make sure these hearing aids are in working order and provide them to people in need at no charge,” VanBergen said.

Chandler is amazed to be able to hear sounds and people’s voices that prior to this week had been silent to her.

“It’s just amazing. You have to watch what you say around me now because I can hear everything,” Chandler laughed.

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