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CHAPTER 6: Environmental Aids and Strategies
for: the door, TV and radio, loop systems, telephone, the baby and alarm clocks. 

Plus: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

 

This page covers:

Section E - Finding whether the baby or an ill person is calling out
Section F - Alarm clocks and timers
Section G - Hearing Dogs

Click on the links in the left hand column to see the other sections

E. Finding whether the baby or an ill person is calling out

1. You can use a baby or invalid alarm with flashing light unit.

2. You can use a baby or invalid alarm that has a vibrating unit.
                                                              
3. You can wear the hearing aid when perhaps you might have taken it off when alone in the house.

4. The hearing person in the house could let you know that help is needed. (Perhaps the hearing person could give the help if it's feeding the baby in the middle of the night!)

5. You may want to use an intercom system.  Intercom systems are available with wires or without.

Without wires:

A sound monitor: The transmitter plugs into a socket in the baby’s room near to the baby.  The receiver is plugged in near to the hard of hearing person.  As this method relies on being able to hear sound through the monitor this option may only suit people with a mild hearing loss.

Walkabout classicBaby alarms: Some baby alarms on the general market have visual indicators which show the level of sound even though they are not designed specifically with hearing impaired people in mind. These lights are not bright enough to wake a sleeping deaf person.  Some are mains powered, some are battery powered and on some models you have a choice.


The transmitter is positioned near to the baby and the portable receiver can be moved around with the parent.

If you need to be alerted to several noises around the home - e.g. smoke alarm, baby alarm, doorbell, phone, etc, then a multi-alert system may be the best option.

Click here to view Action on Hearing Loss's leaflet on multi-alerting systems.

If you feel you would benefit from any help about knowing when your baby or someone who is ill is calling out, your first port of call should be your local Social Services who should be able to tell you what is available in your area.  See the section above on Obtaining Environmental Aids.

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F. Alarm clocks and timers

There are a variety of alarm clocks available that are suitable for people with varying degrees of hearing loss.  Again when deciding which to get, you need to consider what you want it to do - your partner might not be thrilled if you get an extra loud alarm clock if they usually get up after you.  If your bedroom is particularly bright in the mornings then a flashing alarm clock may not be enough to wake you.

Many clocks have a choice of how you will be woken - i.e. you can choose the audible alert, the vibrating alert or the flashing alert, or a combination of 2 of these, or even all three!

With some clocks you may need to purchase extras to make it flash or vibrate - so it pays to shop around and see what’s available before you make a decision.

Here are some examples of what is available from Connevans, Action on Hearing Loss Solutions and Sarabec.


Wake n ShakeWake 'n' Shake alarm clock

       

 

Vibralite wristwatchVibralite wristwatch   

   

Bellman Alarm Clock Multi-function analogue alarm clock

       

 

Sonic Boom SB375 Bedside AlarmSonic Boom bedside alarm clock  

                        

portable shake-awake Shake-Awake portable vibrating alarm clock 

       

 

1. You can obtain an alarm clock which is extra loud.

2. You can obtain an alarm clock with a flashing light.

3. You can obtain an alarm clock with a vibrating pad.

4. You can obtain an alarm clock with a flashing light and a vibrating pad.

5. You can obtain alarm clocks which work as part of a multi-alert system.

5. You can put an alarm clock on a tin box to make the ring louder.

6. You can obtain a wrist watch that vibrates when the alarm goes off.

7. You can obtain timers which flash and/or vibrate when the time is up.

 If you feel you would benefit from any help about knowing when your alarm clock or timer is sounding, your first port of call should be your local Social Services who should be able to tell you what is available in your area.  Clock on the following link to see the section on Obtaining Environmental Aids.

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G. Hearing Dogs

What some people have said about Hearing Dogs:

1. I have a Hearing Dog and it is wonderful.

2. One person said, “When my husband died I found it difficult to manage with knowing when the there was someone at the door and when my phone rang.  My social worker suggested that I get a hearing dog.  I was very doubtful at first as it was a long time since I’d had a dog.  However, I’ve found her really useful and I’ve become more outgoing, too, as people stop to talk to me about her when we’re out and about.  I wouldn’t be without her now.”

3. My hearing dog has made a huge difference - I no longer have to rely on various gadgets to alert me to household sounds and I feel I’ve regained my independence.

4. I have trained my own dog to tell me when there is somebody at the door or when the telephone is ringing, etc.

5. One person said, “I’ve had my dog since he was a puppy and he seems to have worked out for himself that there are some things I can’t hear - I’ve never trained him, but he comes and paws at me if there’s someone at the door.”

If you think you might benefit from having a Hearing Dog, you can contact them and ask for an application form.  There are some criteria as follows (as shown on the Hearing Dogs website):

Who can apply for a hearing dog?

You may be eligible if you:

  • are severely hard of hearing or profoundly deaf
  • need assistance to be made aware of sounds like the alarm clock, doorbell, telephone, smoke alarm etc.
  • want to feel independent from your family or colleagues, or if you spend a lot of time alone
  • can provide a dog with proper exercise, grooming, food and medical care (help may be given if this is difficult for you)
  • would enjoy the close company of a dog, and want to build a working partnership with one
  • don't have other dogs at home (except perhaps for an elderly pet dog)
  • are over 18 years of age

(See Hearing Dogs in the Useful Organisations and Websites section for more information and contact details).

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