Solutions for people with hearing loss
Hearing loss is number three on the list of chronic conditions that affect older adults. As we age, it becomes more difficult to separate conversational voices from background noise. Reduction in noise pollution and providing better acoustical environments will allow those with hearing loss to maximize their abilities. Problems with noise are not limited to understanding conversations. With a hearing loss it becomes more difficult to separate sounds in the environment, and identify the nature, source, and location of the sound. Depending on the degree, anyone with hearing loss may be confused and startled when a noise occurs until they can analyze the meaning and determine an appropriate response to the noise. People constantly exposed to loud noise run an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers and headaches. Too much noise at night also significantly contributes to sleep disorders.
Prevalence of Hearing Loss:
- At age 30 hearing begins to fade
- By age 65 one of every six people have severe hearing loss
Problems with hearing loss include:
- Difficulty in separating noises
- Some people find it easier to withdraw than to cope with trying to understand
Solutions to minimize hearing loss:
- Select quieter appliances.
- Use sound absorbing materials such as carpets, fabrics on furniture, and draperies.
- Don’t combine the switch for the light and the exhaust fan in bathrooms. Use a timer switch for the fan so that you can leave the room and have the fan shut off.
- Provide doorbell chimes in more than one location, i.e. walk-in closets, family rooms, and on each level of the home.
- Install a flashing light to let you know that someone is at the door or calling on the phone.
- Install a motion sensor so you will know when someone is approaching a front or back door, which will activate the door chime or flashing light.
- Consider installing a built-in vacuum system, which is quieter and easier to handle.
- Run the dishwasher at night.
- Plan your home’s layout to separate noisy activities from quiet activities.