I remember when I was young, hearing my momma try to talk to my granny. She had to talk really loud and repeat almost everything she said. Regardless, my granny was always thrilled to get a phone call from one of her kids or grandkids. Even today, phones are so important to older people. Getting the right phone can make the experience even better.
Phones for the Disabled
Whether your loved one has trouble hearing or seeing, there’s a phone out there that can keep them connected. There are now phones that have wonderful amplification and for Californians those phones are free. The Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program is a great resource for those who have trouble hearing or seeing. It’s so easy to apply. Visit their website and ask them to send you an application. Take the application to your doctor to sign and soon you’ll have a phone that easy to use.
The phones have really large buttons and a light that flashes on incoming calls. My daddy is almost completely deaf yet our conversations on the phone are much better than talking in person because he can hear me.
Big buttons and flashing lights make the phone easy to use for those with very poor eyesight. There’s a volume control that will accommodate almost anyone with hearing problems. A trained professional comes right to your home and installs the phone and tells you exactly how to use it.
For the Severely Hard of Hearing
The California phone program also has a closed caption phone for those who are severely deaf. These phones have a large screen to see what the caller is saying and also have a very loud volume so if at all possible the disabled person can hear what’s being said.
Speech Impaired and iPads
For Californians with speech impediments, there’s a program that will provide a Speech Generating Device on an iPad.
Tips for Communicating with the Hard of Hearing
From the time I was young, my mama told me, “Speak clearly and slow down when you talk to granny!” This is good advice for anyone trying to talk on the phone or in person to someone who’s hard of hearing. I took this a little further with my own kids and grandkids. I often have to tell my grands — “Look at your grandpa when you talk to him. Talk louder and slow down!”
So much of our communication is not just with our voices but our expressions and in our eyes. Knowing which ear is the “bad one” also helps. Daddy has the most trouble with his right ear so I always try to sit to his left.
Keeping them Safe
Both my parents now have trouble hearing and the thing that gives me the most peace of mind is my mama’s dog. Parker is big and has a big bark. If anyone who he doesn’t know comes along, I know he will warn my parents. My parents also put cowbells on the outside doors and their yard gates. It does help them to know if someone is coming. Yes, their doors should always be locked, but they work in the yard so often that they leave them unlocked.