Communication is essential, especially during times of crisis. Stay informed about the world around you, but also ensure you have a proper communication plan if you become ill. We’ve compiled ideas for a course of action and how to communicate with hearing loss effectively.
Know Your Risk
Hearing loss can take its toll during times of isolation, causing loneliness or depression. It also increases the likelihood of medical communication and treatment errors. Aside from communication troubles, those with hearing loss often have underlying medical conditions that predispose them to COVID-19.
These conditions include:
- Cardiovascular conditions
- High blood pressure
- Heart or lung disease
Prepare to protect yourself if you decide to go out in public with preventative measures like a mask, gloves, and regularly washing your hands.
Make A Plan
Having a plan in place before you need it will take some of the uncertainty out of the current global crisis.
- Contact your physician for medical advice if you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19. They will advise you whether you should go to the hospital or isolate at home.
- Anticipate a chaotic environment in the hospital and bring someone with you to help advocate your situation.
- Bring your hearing devices and a list of all your medication. Do not remove your hearing aids at the hospital, so you won’t risk losing them.
- Be aware of your patient rights and communication services at the hospital. Bring a whiteboard to write out important info, if necessary.
- Prepare for discharge and home care while you’re in the hospital. Getting out of the hospital as soon as reasonably possible will prevent hospital-borne infections.
Wearing A Mask
Be mindful of the national shortage of masks for hospital and health care staff before your purchase. Masks can also make communication difficult in the hospital.
Only wear a mask if:
- You have symptoms of COVID-19
- You’re looking after sick individuals
- You go out in public in high-traffic areas like the grocery store or gas station
Make sure your hands are clean before touching your mask, and there aren’t any tears or holes. Orient masks correctly with the color side facing outward or the metal strip on top. If you or a loved one makes fabric masks, make them with tie straps in the back to avoid disturbing your hearing aids and ears.
Dispose of the mask immediately after use and wash your hands with soap and water before you touch your face or hearing aids. It’s also good to get in the practice of regularly disinfecting your hearing aids as well.
Audio Help Hearing Centers has supplies available to patients including batteries and filters, and we will mail them to you during the Stay At Home order. Additionally, we may be able to assist with providing masks, including masks that have clear plastice to allow for lip reading.
Still Here To Serve You
Our offices are operating with limited staff and office hours to keep you and your family, as well as our team members and their families, safe and healthy.
We are available for phone consultations, as well as video conferencing. For patients will urgent needs, we are available one day a week at each office.
Please note, walk-in appointments are not available at this time, you must call ahead.