“Most people will have smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and security systems that make a lot of noise when something is wrong, but these are not always useful for individuals who are experiencing some level of hearing loss. In fact, people with hearing loss may not be able to make use of the same warning systems that alert individuals to potential dangers around the home.”

~ Helene Pinheiro, AU.D., LIC.-A

 

It’s essential for individuals with hearing loss to pay attention to alarms and surroundings, in order to stay safe wherever they are, but particularly in the home where the most time is spent. Below are some home safety tips for people with hearing loss that will help you and your loved ones to do just that:

Invest in High-Quality Hearing Aids

If you want to stay safe at home and you have hearing loss, the best thing you can do is to visit an audiologist and have high-quality hearing aids fitted. Hearing aids will enable you to hear more sounds than you currently can, which means you are more likely to hear smoke alarms or the neighbors knocking on the door to alert you to a danger. This will help to keep you safe, especially if your hearing loss is mild to moderate, but even if it is severe, it is just one more tool in the arsenal to increase your awareness.

Upgrade Your Alarms

When you are experiencing hearing loss, regular smoke alarms and security systems might not be good enough at alerting you to the threats in your home, especially if they use a purely sound-based warning system. The good news is, there are lots of alarm systems that use a 520 Hz signal, which is more easily heard by people who are hard of hearing, which means those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss will be able to pick up on the alarm.

There are also companies that make alarm systems that use the senses of sight and touch to alert you to any threat. For example, some smoke alarms use flashing lights and vibrations sent to your pillow to help rouse you in the event of an emergency and it is smart to have these installed in your home if you have a high level of hearing loss. The more cues there are, the more likely it is that you will notice them and be able to get to safety or alert the emergency services as appropriate.

Consider a Service Animal

If you think you could take good care of an animal, then getting a service dog is an additional way to stay safe at home, in the park, at the store or while running other errands. They will be trained to alert you to various dangers from fires to fast-moving vehicles, so you can safely get out of harm’s way even if you can’t hear the usually audible signs of danger.

Try an Alarm Enhancer

Alarm enhancers are ideal for those of you who do not want to replace any alarms you currently have despite a recent hearing loss diagnosis. They will amplify the sounds of your smoke alarm or the security system so that you should be able to hear them and respond to the alarm. They can usually be bought at hardware stores and are pretty simple to install, but they may not be as powerful as systems that are designed especially with the hearing impaired in mind.

Install an Amplified Phone

In an emergency, you often need to call 911 or at the very least, get in touch with a family member who can come to help you. This can be tough when you have hearing loss and cannot hear very well, which is where an amplified phone can make all the difference in these uncertain situations. These devices are designed for individuals with and without hearing aids, and they work by amplifying the sound on the phone so that you can hear the person on the other end loud and clear, get the help you need when you need it the most and not have to worry about what you will do in an emergency any longer.

Get help with your hearing today

If you are experiencing the symptoms of hearing loss and you would like to talk to a professional who understands, then call one of the team members at Bluegrass Hearing Clinic at (866) 979-5579 today. From hearing tests to advice about staying safe at home, whatever help you need, we are here for you, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Tags: hearing loss management tips