Home is a place of comfort, safety, love, meals, relaxation, importance, value, and endless communication. For a person with hearing loss or a hearing implant user, home can sometimes be a difficult place in terms of hearing ability. For example, a living room with high ceilings and hard floors can cause sound to echo, making it more difficult to hear. Important warning sounds like the oven beeping or a fire alarm sounding might not be heard.
In this post, we provide 8 tips to help improve hearing ability and safety in your home.
1: Install home smoke alarms and/or home security systems with strobe lights so you can be easily alerted in case of emergency. This is critical for when you are not wearing your audio processors, for example when you are sleeping.
2: Have an accessible phone system installed in your home. In some countries, there are many companies that provide captioned phones at no cost to you. Ask your audiologist for the appropriate paperwork to access this technology, free of charge (in the United States).
3: For people with hearing loss, they might miss the sound of a doorbell. Consider installing a glass front door or locking glass storm door so you can clearly see visitors upon arrival, rather than relying on a “peep-hole” which reduces the visual field. You could also utilize outdoor security cameras to see guests who visit your home, in case you can’t hear them arrive.
4: Families tend to congregate in the kitchen; therefore, plenty of communication occurs in this space. Consider an “open kitchen” space, utilizing an island so you can face the people talking to you and hear them clearly.
5: Use carpets, rugs, and drapery to not only decorate your home, but also to reduce sounds echoing throughout your home.
6: At a busy family event at home with many people talking at once, you might rely on some lip-reading to help you follow the conversation. Ensure there is excellent lighting throughout the house so you can clearly see others when communicating.
7: Consider installing a home induction loop system in rooms where your family congregates to watch television, videos, and play games. This can allow you to stream directly to your audio processors, and not need to blast the volume which might be too loud for others.
8: Create one space specifically designated for keeping all of your hearing technology, to help you keep track of all the small parts. Store back-up equipment, such as spare cables and batteries, in one place that is easily accessible. You can also keep your drying system and battery charging equipment in the once place.
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