Today’s modern household can be filled with noise. Above and beyond the normal chatter of family life, we also have the seemingly constant running of everyday conveniences such as the dishwasher and vacuum. Add in televisions, radios and mobile devices streaming music and video and you almost have a live rock band right in your home.
Humor aside, if you or a loved one has hearing loss, these noises can potentially get in the way of more important sounds like the phone ringing, smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, the oven timer or even a knock at the door. In a recent post on Hearing Health Matters, Gael Hannan provides the following tips to increase household safety for those with hearing loss:
- Take a minute to inventory your household noise and make an effort to reduce competing sources of noise in the house
- Are you finding a loud TV is part of the problem? Using closed captioning or a TV streamer may reduce the need for high TV volume
- Set communication ground rules. Conversations, when possible, should be face to face. The person initiating a conversation must go to the other person before starting to talk – try to reduce the “yelling” to each other from the next room
- Consider visual alarms. For example, flashing lights signify the doorbell, someone knocking, motion outside the house, a phone ringing, a baby crying and the presence of fire, smoke or carbon monoxide. Ensure that all alarms are working properly
- Phones should have extra loud ringers and/or flashing lights. Portable phones can also be used as intercoms
In addition, Hannan recommends developing an emergency preparedness plan. Know who and how to call for help in an emergency. Have a backup kit of items essential for communication – hearing aid/CI batteries, flashlight, etc.
Share with us what tips your own family uses to ensure a safer household.