Major hazards can often arise as a result of hearing loss, however some of them may surprise you. We’ve compiled a list of some of the common and associated dangers of hearing loss that you might encounter, with some expert solutions to help overcome these issues and protect you from harm.
When you’re hard of hearing, falling and injuring yourself can be even more hazardous than it is for those who don’t suffer from hearing loss. The thought of calling the emergency services can be traumatic, especially if you’re unsure whether you’ll be able to hear or understand what the operator is saying. Even if you have a panic button, it can be difficult to know if it’s working when you can’t hear the alarm.
Falls not only cause you to lose confidence, they can also lead to further complications, especially if you’re unable to move from the floor for a long time. This is particularly true for seniors, many of whom suffer from hearing loss, but still want to live active and independent lives. Approximately one-third of older people who live in their own homes, fall at least once a year. This is why it’s essential for there to be a solution in place for those with hearing loss.
The iHelp Safety Pendant was designed by Mobile Alert Premier Safety Pendants to help those who are hard of hearing in the event of an emergency. It has a crystal-clear sound with the loudest volume of any pendant available on the market and features a light indicator, which shows you when a call is being made.
In an emergency, the user presses the SOS button and holds it for three seconds. A clear voice explains that messages are being sent and calls are being made, and the SOS button is illuminated with a green light to show that a call is being placed. The pendant is pre-programmed with the mobile numbers of the user’s family members or friends who are aware of the user’s hearing difficulties. When activated, each of the contacts receive a text message saying help is needed and the user’s location shown is also shown via a link to Google Maps. Calls are then made to each contact in sequence until someone responds, with two-way voice communication enabling direct contact. The pendant also features an Automatic Fall Detector, which messages the user’s contacts if a fall seems to have occurred.
Another impact of hearing loss you have to live with is the worry that you won’t be able to hear people coming to your door or even entering your property. However, not all visitors are friends or family members, and the thought of strangers and unwelcome intruders entering your property is something that causes a lot of anxiety to many people who suffer from hearing loss.
The MedPage Motion Sensor covers any vulnerable area of your property and alerts you to the presence of a visitor or intruder –sending out a signal to a vibrating pager, which you can wear on your belt or carry in your pocket. The device has a range of 125 metres, enabling you to feel much safer in your own home as you’ll know whenever anyone, invited or otherwise, enters your property.
The Universal Transmitter attaches to any entry point such as a door, window or gate, and connects to a magnet. If the entry point is opened, this breaks the connection between the transmitter and the magnet, sending a signal to the vibrating pager, to alert you that someone is entering your property.
The Motion Sensor and Universal Transmitter can work in conjunction with each other – a total of ten sensors and transmitters can be linked to one vibrating pager. This enables you to cover all the vulnerable areas of your property, giving you complete peace of mind so you can feel relaxed at home.
Both devices are available from TabTimer , which has been supplying electronic devices for people with diverse needs since 2009. If you have a hearing or speech impairment and want to get in touch with Tab Timer through the National Relay Service, these details are available on their website.
If you have ever tried sleeping with hearing aids in, it’s likely you found it uncomfortable. However, this is what many hearing loss sufferers do, as they worry about not being able to hear the smoke alarm in the event of a fire. Fire is a serious danger in Australian homes. It can be particularly hazardous for those who are hard of hearing – if you don’t have a partner or pet to wake you, there’s a chance you may not realise there’s a fire until it’s too late.
There are different types of fire alarm systems on the market for those with hearing loss. Depending on your needs, it’s best to compare what the different systems have to offer and how they will suit you and your needs.
The Bellman Visit Safe Pack, available from hearing loss safety specialists Word of Mouth Technology, enables people who are hard of hearing to sleep soundly without the worry of sleeping through a smoke alarm. The device includes a smoke detector and a bedside alarm clock with a vibrating pad that goes under your pillow. If any smoke is detected by the device, it sounds a loud alert, but also activates the vibrating pad and the four bright LED flashing lights on the alarm clock. This ensures you will be woken by at least one of these mechanisms. The alarm clock also has a battery backup, so it will continue to work even if the power to your home cuts out.
In addition to the smoke alarm, the device can also be paired with other transmitters, enabling you to hear the phone, the doorbell or a baby monitor. It can also act on its own as a regular alarm clock, ensuring you’ll never sleep through your alarm again.
Brooks Australia also offer a range of solutions designed specifically for people who need those extra safety measures to alert them to danger. While those who are hard of hearing cannot rely on the sound of a regular smoke alarm, their tailor-made solution solves this problem. The alarm will activate a high-intensity strobe light and vibrating pad that is kept under your pillow. It can also be interconnected with conventional fire and CO alarms, along with additional high-intensity strobe lights in different locations within the home. This ensures that you are alerted to the danger no matter where the smoke is detected in the home.
The alarms can also be wirelessly interconnected using RadioLINKTM which makes it easy to modify and existing alarm system or alarm controller – simply add the alarm or accessory when needed without additional cabling.
With any of these alarm systems in your home, you will be able to sleep peacefully without needing to wear your hearing aids to bed!
Many people who suffer from hearing loss worry about walking alone, particularly if they live in a highly-populated area where there is a lot of traffic. Being unable to hear traffic sounds makes you even more vulnerable than other pedestrians. However, being able to walk unaccompanied around your neighbourhood is an integral part of independent living and those who are hard of hearing need to be able to enjoy this pursuit safely.
Australian outdoor equipment retailer Wildfire Sports and Trek offers a wide variety of products designed to keep you safe while walking by making you more visible to drivers. One of the most innovative of these is the Nathan Sports Hyper-Brite Strobe Light, which clips onto your clothing. It has four LEDs with 20 lumens in total. It can be on steadily or in one of three different strobe modes, which enables you to be seen clearly, even at night, so cars can navigate around you. The light is water resistant and has over 30 hours of power.
High-visibility clothing is another simple and effective way for the hard of hearing to stay safe, making the wearer more visible on the road. Wildfire Sports and Trek offers a number of options including vests, hats and a waist pack. These accessories offer a high degree of reflectivity as well as being comfortable and practical to wear.
While the effects of hearing loss can have an impact on everyday life, with the right products to support you, many of the worries associated with hearing loss can be alleviated. Then you are free to continue to enjoy a calm, active and independent life.