Having hearing impairments, or being on the road to complete hearing loss is already difficult as it is, but learning to adapt can be so much more complicated when considering how much of your life and home you will have to change. There are plenty of little aspects in your house that will require adjustments, and if you are a homeowner (especially for the first time), it will be all the more obvious that houses are simply always built to be accessible for those with much better hearing.
Nevertheless, as any hearing specialist will tell you, there is no need to be overly concerned. Homeowners can make a series of adjustments that will get you on to the first step to living in comfort with hearing loss within your abode. Here are a few suggestions on how to make your home more friendly for a hearing-impaired person.
Are you already using a hearing device?
Regardless of whether it is yourself or a family member who has hearing health issues, it is a good idea to ensure that the right steps are already being taken to help get the best results out of your adjustments. Particularly if you are living in a new place, you should ensure that you have been diagnosed correctly and are given a proper hearing assessment first. Living in a new home may mean that you aren’t yet adapted to the area and don’t know where you can find hearing care professionals to administer a hearing test. But a simple online search of “hearing aid centers near me” is likely to point you towards Hearing Health USA, a site that will list all of the hearing centers close to your home.
This will even be useful if you have lived in the same home for a while now. If the hearing impairment is recently diagnosed, or you have noticed changes in your hearing, then you are likely to need a hearing test as well. If you are looking for an upgrade to your hearing aid, or require a new hearing aid, then the same search will show you where you can get professional help. Unless you have the right hearing aid for your degree of hearing loss, there is little point in changing anything in the home to assist in the long run.
Remember, light not sound!
In addition to learning the appropriate sign language (remember, there are different forms of sign language in different countries, even if the spoken language is the same), you would be well served by going through the home and checking everything that forces you to rely on sound cues or alerts. Doorbells, smoke alarms, intruder alarms, kettles, televisions, telephones, and more are all using sounds to get your attention at various times. Replacing most of these shouldn’t be hard work, and many devices have hearing accessible alternatives. For example, there are doorbells available that will flash a light when rung, as well as playing a sound, letting you know someone is present.
For some devices however, there should be no question as to whether you should hire professionals or not. The installation of new smoke alarms or burglar alarms that will alert a person with hearing impairments is difficult and must be done properly. Should the unfortunate day come when they are needed they simply have to work, and, for that, they must have proper installation to avoid technical issues.
Having the best devices for those who need them may require a little bit of money as well. Luckily there are companies such as Loanpal who can ensure that the technical aspects of the home are properly financed. New hearing aids may not be cheap, but they are an investment that will reward you again and again, and so having the financial stability to pay for this first is paramount.
Adjusting to life with a hearing impairment is a challenge, and there is a lot that goes into the adjustment. Make sure to get your home ready and to have the best hearing aids available so that you are well equipped to manage the changes as they come.