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Strategies for living independently with a hearing impairment

Strategies for living independently with a hearing impairment

Specialist alarm clocks, fire alarms, doorbells, and other equipment to help your child when they’re on their own at home.

As your child gets older, they might start thinking about being on their own at home, for example: 

  • when family members are out
  • if they move into their own home
  • if they go away to university

They might wonder how they’ll know what’s going on around them, particularly when they’re not wearing their hearing aids or cochlear implants.

There’s equipment to help with this.

Waking up in the morning

They could use their mobile phone as an alarm. 

If it isn’t loud enough they could try an alarm clock:

  • attached to a pad which goes under their pillow and vibrates when the alarm goes off
  • linked to a bedside light that flashes when the alarm goes off 

Knowing when someone is at the door

Your child could: 

  • use a doorbell which is extra loud or with an adjustable volume control
  • have a doorbell attached to a flashing light system
  • have a doorbell with both a volume control and a flashing light

Knowing if there’s a fire in the home

Your child could have a fire alarm which is linked to a bright flashing light and a vibrating pad which goes under your pillow.  

Personal alerting system

All the above equipment is available separately, but your child could also have a personal alerting system. 

These are single systems which can alert them to several different sounds in the home, for example all the above plus a baby crying or a cooker timer buzzer.  

Each of these sounds has a transmitter and they have a receiver, for example, a vibrating pager that clips to their waistband.  The receiver has symbols to show them which sound is being made.

More information

The NDCS has information about all this equipment on its website.  

It also offers a technology test drive so that your child can try equipment before they decide what to buy.

If you live in Bristol, the Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People has a resource room where you and your child can view equipment. Check the website for opening times.

You can also:

  • phone them on 0345 9007830
  • text or FaceTime them on 07749 313085

DeafPlus in Bath also has equipment to view. Check the website for opening times or phone them on 01225 446555.

You can buy products from Connevans.

Avon Fire may be able to supply and fit a suitable fire alerting system free of charge.

You can:

  • contact them via their website 
  • phone them on 0117 926 2061
  • text ‘visit’ to 07507 319694

Hearing dogs

If your child likes dogs and they’re in a position to have one, they might want to think about a Hearing dog. 

Hearing dogs are trained to alert their owners to the important sounds listed above. If you’re interested, visit the Hearing Dogs website to find out more about their services and criteria.