If you have a loved one who is dealing with a hearing impairment, it can be difficult to put yourself in his or her shoes. It’s hard to understand something that you’ve never been through, no matter how someone tries to explain it to you. If you’re living with a loved one who has lost part or all of his or her hearing, there are gadgets that can be useful. Here are five of the best:
1.Wireless Door Bell with Alert
For most people, a simple knock at the door can alert us that someone has come over to visit or talk. For someone with a hearing impairment, a knock on the door simply isn’t enough. A wireless doorbell with a visual alert can be handy for those who have visitors. These door bells can easily be installed anywhere in the home. Along with a typical chime that alerts hearing family members to a visitor, a flashing light alerts those with hearing impairments.
2.Talking Alarm Clock with Vibration
If your partner is dealing with partial or complete hearing loss, there’s no longer a need to clutter your nightstand with several alarm clocks. New alarm clocks are available that feature dual alarms along with vibrating discs. You can set the alarm clock for yourself and set the second alarm for your partner, or vice versa. Either alarm can be connected to the phone line to be used as a signaler. Additionally, the alarm of your choice can be connected to the vibrating pad and placed under a pillow, in a pocket or anywhere you choose.
3.Vibrating Baby Alert
For people with typical hearing, a baby monitor is enough to alert them to a crying infant. For people with a hearing impairment, the monitor can go unheeded for a length of time. If you have a new baby and you or your partner are hearing impaired, look for a baby monitor that includes a vibrating alert. Many baby alerts on the market today feature remotes that easily clip to a belt or slip inside a pocket. These small remotes light up, vibrate and give audible tones when your baby cries.
It’s not unusual for people to not want to leave their partners with hearing impairments home alone because they fear for their partner’s safety. What happens if there’s a fire and your partner can’t hear the smoke detector? Replace the smoke detectors in your home with models that feature bright, flashing strobe lights in addition to audible alerts. For added safety, you can purchase a smoke detector that will send an alert to a vibrating transmitter that can be slipped under the pillow while your loved one sleeps.
If you live in a region of the country that experiences tornadoes, hurricanes or other traumatic weather events, you may have a weather alert radio in your home. While these devices are useful for those with typical hearing, they are virtually useless to those with hearing impairments. Replace your current weather radio with one that has both a strobe and a vibrating transmitter. These vibrating transmitters can alert your loved one to a weather emergency if he or she is alone in the house.
As people with typical hearing, it’s easy to take small things for granted. From alarms that wake us up in the morning to gadgets that alert us to an infant’s cries, these things are virtually useless to those with hearing impairments. Take a look around your home and make note of all of the items that can be replaced to make your home safer for your loved one with a hearing impairment. Chances are, if you can think of something to replace, there’s a gadget out there for you.
Editor’s Note: Claire Taylor writes articles for special needs blogs. If someone you know has a hearing impairment and in need of special equipment for daily living, refer them to the 1800doorbell website for hearing impaired door chimes.