Whether you were born with hearing loss or developed hearing loss when you’re older, your life changes dramatically.
Earful of Facts
For the sake of clarity, in this blog when we speak of people who are“hard of hearing,” we are referring to groups of people who have any degree of hearing loss or are deaf. By using this term, we in no way mean to imply or suggest that people with hearing loss are disabled or incapable of “being whole.” In fact, in America, hearing loss is the third most common physical condition, with roughly 48 million people reporting some degree of hearing loss; that’s 20 percent of our population! Approximately half of those people could benefit from hearing aids but less than 16 percent wear them.
Almost every aspect of life changes for the hard of hearing. Sometimes only in little ways, but more often though, situational analysis is much different for the hard of hearing. You may notice, a person with hearing loss is usually more observant than the average hearing person. That’s because, depending on the severity of impairment, those with hearing loss rely on their other four senses to detect changes in their environment.
For example, a hearing person would be able to hear their coworker entering a room long before it happens because they could hear them talking as they walked down the hall and into the office. A hard of hearing person would know the coworker has come into the office through a number of other variables that hearing people don’t normally pay attention to. So how does a hard of hearing person “hear” someone enter a room?
- The scent of wafting perfume
- The feeling of vibrations through the floor from heavy footfall
- The sight of the coworker walking in
- The visible reactions of others noticing the coworker’s presence
- Lip-reading what others are saying about the coworker’s entrance
These are cues that a hearing person wouldn’t need to observe. But now you may be wondering, what happens when a hard of hearing person is in an unsafe situation and their other four senses are compromised?
Can’t Hear The Haters
You may think that the majority of those with hearing loss are elderly people, but in reality, 30 million Americans with hearing loss in both ears are age 12 and over. Those with hearing loss can still do every-day things like drive, live independently, and work in almost any industry. Occasionally those every-day things require accommodations, accommodations that people have learned to seek and provide for themselves.
Safety is one of the biggest accommodations for the hard of hearing. Those who suffer from hearing loss and live or work without hearing people around them can struggle to sense danger before it’s too late. Common warning signs of danger like screaming, windows breaking, yelling, door handles rattling, or locks being broken are all auditory warnings that have a high probability of going unheard.
A duress alarm system with a wireless panic button or a panic button app on the phone is an ideal way for the hard of hearing to live or work alone safely. Common situations that can be doubly scary for the hard of hearing are not limited to but include:
- Working in environments with limited visibility, especially when alone
- Driving/walking late at night
- Being in a confined space with strangers
In these instances, a duress alarm with a personal, portable panic button would provide both safety and security for those who were unable to hear the early warning signs of danger. At SecurAlert we work hard to make sure your employees and loved ones are safe under any circumstances. Please contact us if you, your employees, or your loved ones are hard of hearing and could benefit from a duress alarm system.