Hearing loss can impact every aspect of your life. The problem can be especially difficult when entering a situation where you need to stay in the hospital. This environment can leave you feeling isolated without the support of friends and family to help you communicate, and the use of masks doesn’t make that any better. In order to make the situation easier for yourself, it’s helpful to prepare by building your own hospital kit.
Keep Your Hearing Aids Safe
In order to give yourself the best ability to hear and communicate, it’s important that you keep your hearing aids safe and functional. This can mean that you bring a container that is specifically designed to hold your hearing aids. You may also find a plastic container or box works for you. It will be very helpful to label this with your name on it so that doctors know who it belongs to.
It will also be beneficial to bring along extra batteries for your hearing aids. These can be stored inside the same container you plan to keep your hearing aids in, which will ensure they don’t get lost. Additionally, if you are having trouble with getting your hearing aids to work, bringing along a battery tester for them will allow staff to troubleshoot the device. It could be that they simply need a new battery in order to start working again.
It’s always a good idea to indicate that you are suffering from hearing loss to a medical professional. This will help them to accommodate your needs and understand how to best help you. Signs or buttons that indicate your situation can help to communicate nonverbally before starting a conversation. These can state lines such as, “I am hard of hearing!” or “please speak louder, clearly and face me” so that the doctor knows how to proceed with the interaction. These signs can be downloaded here or ordered online.
Communication Tip Sheets
Another helpful visual aid can be a communication tip sheet. You can create your own, or use an already existing template to print out and bring copies for your hospital kit. The CHHA’s “How to Help Our Communication” tip sheet is a great example. The sheet includes a list of the following:
- Get my attention before talking
- Face me — I need to see your face to lipread
- Speak clearly — don’t over emphasize or shout
- If possible, turn off background noise
- Don’t cover your mouth
- Rephrase if misunderstood
- Write down important information
- Ask me to repeat vital facts to be sure I understand correctly
You may also want to include a pen and notebook or a portable whiteboard in your kit as a backup. There are also speech-to-text apps that can be added to your phone to help translate for you.
Personalize Your Kit
As mentioned before, labeling your hearing aid container with your name will help prevent you from misplacing or losing it. This also applies to everything else in your kit. Adding your personal information, such as name and phone number, will help anyone who finds these items return them back to you.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to find more tips and suggestions for creating your own hearing loss hospital kit, schedule an appointment with Hearing Doctors of New Jersey. Call our Livingston office at (973) 577-4100 or request your appointment online.
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