Safety concerns with hearing loss


 

Normally, when you think of hearing loss we tend to think of images of people blasting the volume of their TV, or having to literally yell at the person in order to have a conversation with them.  Most of these images tend to be about when someone who is dealing with hearing loss is around others. 

But what happens when they are alone?  What are the common dangers and safety concerns associated with hearing loss? Here are a few examples and how to cope with them.

Falling: When a person with hearing loss falls, especially if they are a senior, it can be a very traumatic experience for them.  Even if they are able to contact help, they might not know what is going on because they are unable to understand what the emergency responder is trying to communicate to them.  Having an emergency help button that has a list of contacts that come to your location when needed would help ease some of their anxiety.

Home invasion:  People with hearing loss might not be able to hear the door bell when friends and family come to visit, but what happens when someone is trying to break in to your home and you cannot hear what is going on around you. 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.  Having motion detectors outside of your home can make you aware when someone is approaching your property.  Also, having sensors around your doors and windows that set off an alert either by flashing lights or sending a signal to a pager will make you aware if someone is trying to break in.

Fire:  Sleeping with hearing aids can be very uncomfortable for most people.  Without them, some are near deaf and will be more vulnerable to the dangers around them, especially if there is a fire.  If you are unable to hear the fire alarm go off, or if you do not have a pet to alert you to what is going on, it might be too late once you realize what is happening.  Having a fire alarm that flashes a bright light near or over your bed will help wake the person when there is danger of fire within their home.

Traffic safety: Many people who suffer from hearing loss live alone and still live an active lifestyle.  That means they walk around and drive alone too.  Being unable to hear traffic sounds makes you more vulnerable to accidents than other people who do not suffer from hearing loss.  Imagine trying to cross the street and not hear the sirens of a fire truck racing down towards you.  It can be very dangerous not only to the person suffering from hearing loss, but to others around them as well.  Having someone with you when you travel will be the best solution, but if you are alone, wearing bright, highly visible clothing or even a vest with light reflectors can help too.   

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