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Section 30 - Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance

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CHAPTER 7: MISCELLANEOUS

 

This page covers:

Section 6 - Visiting or staying in hospital

Section 7 - Accidents

Section 8 - Dentists

Section 9 - Optician / Eye hospital

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

 

Section 6 - Visiting or staying in hospital

(See also Section 5 - doctors)

6.a. Explanations (Hospital)

1. I tell every member of staff who is working with me that I am hearing impaired. I give them brief instructions how to help me, eg please talk slower and louder and only talk to me when I can see you.

2. I try to make a joke of it to put them at their ease.

3. I display my ear symbol above and beside the bed and I wear several badges too, and I explain to everyone who comes to help me that they are there to show I am deaf. I find that it not only alerts them to my needs but also interests them and they often want to know more.

4. I only show my Communication Card to anyone who comes to help me, and I explain how they can help me.

5. I coped with the experience of undergoing major surgery some years ago simply by expressing my fears. I was terrified that I would not hear the surgeon and his team tell me what I was supposed to do because they would be wearing masks. As the nurse was preparing me for the operation, I mentioned my fears to her. She listened and said "Don't worry", but I did. However before going into the operating theatre I was in a side room. Suddenly a door opened and in came the surgeon and his team minus their masks. The surgeon said "Hello, we know all about you." He then proceeded to tell me what was expected of me, which wasn't much, but oh! I'm sure I went into that theatre with a smile and how I blessed the nurse for passing my worry on. The moral I find is that I’m now not afraid to express my fears.

6. Some people find it helpful to use a Language Service ProfessionalSome hospitals will have them anyway, but if not, they should be able to arrange for one to be present if you need one. You will need to find out who is expected to pay.

The following is an excerpt from a factsheet called “For Users (Lipreaders)” from the Association of Lipspeakers (ALS)
 “Service providers are responsible for the cost of providing lipspeaker support for users of public sector services such as education, health, local authority and the legal system.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act, employers should provide lipspeaker support for interviews, appraisals, meetings and training courses.”

You can view the whole factsheet by clicking on the following link: http://www.lipspeaking.co.uk/fact_users.htm

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6.b. General (Hospital)

1. I wear a big smile and try to put them at their ease.

2. I take my aid and a lot of spare batteries.
(One person reported that she had not taken spare batteries with her when she stayed in the chest ward of a hospital that happened to have an audiology clinic. She was there for two months and was unable to get hold of batteries throughout that time even though she could hear nothing without her hearing aid.)

3. If there is anything private I don't want to be overheard, I ask to go into a small room.

4. If there is anything I do not want the ward to know about I ask them to write it down.


5. If they speak whilst looking down I ask them to look up and repeat.

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Section 7 - Accidents

If you are involved in an accident and somewhat dazed, and if you have a medical condition as well as being hard of hearing you need to ensure you receive the correct treatment for your medical condition. Therefore it can be a good idea have your name, address and phone number on you.

Some people like to wear a talisman necklace/bracelet containing all their medical details including their hearing problem.

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Section 8 - Dentists

(See also Section 5 of this chapter about doctors.)

8.a. In the dentist's room

Dentists have almost no training in deafness so most do not know how to help you.

1. Some people have found it helpful to remind the dentist of their hearing loss each visit. Some people said it’s best to tell the dentist before s/he wedges your mouth open!

2. Tell the dentist that you need to see their face and give other hints on how to communicate with you clearly.

3. I show them my Communication Card and ask for the ear symbol to be put on my notes.  I then keep the Card handy so I can show it again to remind them if they start to forget.

4. There may be a limited number of things the dentist can say about teeth, try to anticipate them.

5. Ask for any instructions and the treatment to be written down.

6. Ask for the dentist to explain the treatment face to face before drilling starts.

7. If you plan to switch your aid off and remove it explain you will not be able to hear, while s/he is drilling and s/he'll hopefully understand you cannot hear.

8. Some people like to anticipate and control the situation by asking specific questions before treatment starts.

9. If the dentist is wearing a mask, ask what the dentist expects you to do and arrange some signs that s/he can use to tell you what to do.

10. Always take pen and paper then instructions can be written in case all else fails. Tell the dentist about the pen and paper before they start.

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8.b. General (Dentists)

1. One person said, “If the dentist is unhelpful I find an alternative. After all some dentists may not be helpful as dentistry is a stressful job.  (Editor's note:  However, in the present situation where dentists can be difficult to find, you may not feel this is a good option for you.)

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8.c. Taking a helper (Dentists)

1. Your helper should be able to repeat things for you (and take notes etc if needed,) however, be careful when choosing your helper. (see this chapter Section 5.d. "Going with a helper")

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Section 9 - Optician/Eye hospital

A lot of people said that the most important thing is to explain that you are hard of hearing before they start testing.

1. I ask for everything to be explained beforehand.

2. I ask for all instructions to be repeated.

3. I ask for the instructions to be repeated by the optician or a nurse standing in front of me.

4. I discuss what the instructions are first and then I write them out in big felt tip pen and ask them to hold the instructions up to me.

5. I take a helper. (See section 5.d about going with a helper).

6. I take my portable TV aid and ask them to use the microphone.

7. I point the microphone of my TV aid at them when they talk.

8. I advise them on how to communicate with me and show them my Communication Card.

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