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Amazing Resources When Your Loved One is Hearing Impaired.

When you’re loved one is hearing impaired, you need functional ways to communicate…

When someone is hearing impaired, it makes the cancer journey so much more difficult. We have found some AMAZING products that have helped our journey tremendously. #resourcesforhearingloss #amazingproducts #advancedtechnology #qualityoflife

Do you know how much more difficult the cancer journey is when your loved one is hearing impaired?  Either deaf or hard of hearing?

WAY MORE DIFFICULT.

When my dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer it was also determined that he has a rare disorder called paraneoplastic syndrome.  Over the course of a year, he became hearing impaired.  First, he became hard of hearing and then he lost his hearing altogether.

Our whole situation became much more complicated when it came to understanding cancer-related information, conversations, treatment, and risks and benefits.

Going through something like this when you can hear and understand all the risks and discussions is hard, but when you’re hearing impaired and you can’t… you find yourself scrambling to understand what everyone else is talking about and trying to keep up with all of the information that is flying around.

One of the biggest challenges is doctor appointments.  There is loads of information flying around and multiple people are talking.  The medical staff need facts, ask questions and need accurate information regarding symptoms.

When your loved one is hearing impaired it can be so difficult to make sure they are getting the correct information. 

Want to save your loved one (and yourself) a boatload of confusion and aggravation?

Dry Erase Board:

$5 from Walmart, this dry erase board has provided hours and hours of conversation, and important discussions have taken place every day through this method.  It’s quick and easy to use and it works really well.  We use this method a lot during dinner, so we can keep dad up with the conversation, ask questions or make observations.

The boards are compact enough to pass around the table, so everyone can be part of the conversation and you can erase the old messages with a napkin or a tissue.  This is a cheap, quick and easy way to resolve the problem when your loved one is hearing impaired.

Notebook:

This is going to be your preferred method if you’re hoping to read the discussions and conversations you’re having over and over again at a later date.  There is no quick erase for the notebook and so anything you write is permanent unless you rip it out and toss it in the garbage.

But I think that years from now, you might really appreciate reading through those notebooks and remembering the times you spent talking about everything.

I plan to keep those notebooks forever!

iPhone:

We talk constantly on our iPhone’s.

Simply pull up a text message or the notes app, hit the little microphone button at the bottom of the screen and start talking.  It translates everything you say into text which is easy to read.  The problem is, it’s not very accurate.

This method will attempt to repeat what it thinks you said (including curse words!) and often times it changes the words.  So, you may have to try a few times to get your point across.

Still, does work and you can usually get the gist of what’s being said so that you can keep up with the conversation.

Captioned Phone: 

We purchased one from Amazon and it is awesome!  There is an operator (an actual person) who listens to the conversation and translates the words onto a screen.  This is a Godsent when your loved one is hearing impaired.

I remember the first time I was able to actually talk to my dad using this method… It had been months since I could do that.  I had tears in my eyes through the entire conversation.  It was a pretty big moment for us.

There is a pretty significant delay between the time you finish talking and the time it takes for the message to be typed and read, so you’ll have to be patient (and stop talking) throughout the conversation.

You also have the option to turn off the captions, so if for example, a hearing person needed to take over the conversation, they could.

You can grab the captioned phone we use here…

Ava App for the Iphone:

Ava Is Amazing!!

Hands down the BEST way to converse when someone is hearing impaired!! This app is simple to use, super powerful and EVERYONE can follow the conversation!  My parents, my sister and I can all have a 4-person conversation from 3 different households and 2 different states… all at the same time.

As each person talks into the app, it loads into a readable conversation and it is INSANE how accurately it transcribes your words.

This app provides 5 free hours per month of conversation and after that, you’re invited to upgrade into one of their plans.  The ability to talk to your loved one like this is worth it… Trust me!

It’s a hit at doctor appointments as well.  This app makes it easy for your loved one to have real and meaningful conversations with their medical staff.

Can you imagine being able to “hear” all of the information that is exchanged during the appointments?  This app can make that happen for you.

Our best tip for “hearing” success:

Debriefing:

A debriefing after each doctor’s appointment will save you a lot of stress!  Seriously.

It’s so hard to keep everything straight even when you can hear just fine and so when you can’t… 

The details and the information get confusing and there is SO MUCH OF it that it’s hard to make sure things are heard correctly.

The truth is, they usually aren’t.

If you ever find yourself listening to your dad telling your mom that the doctor thought it was a good idea to {insert bad idea here} … you’ll totally get what I mean.

That’s when we started the debriefing process after every appointment.  This way he could tell me what he heard during the appoint and I could fill in any blanks and make sure the information was heard correctly.

After we started this process, we eliminated a lot of the confusion and gave my dad back the ability to make informed decisions about his treatment and care.

When your loved one has cancer and they’re also hearing impaired, you need resources that will ensure they get the information they need quickly and accurately.

Rather than suffering through the process of trial and error and learning the hard way what worked, you can skip all that and use the most amazing resources we have found for making sure that every conversation is successful.

What’s your favorite way to communicate?

Related Post: 

 4 ways to effectively advocate for your loved one.

6 Effortless Steps to Advocating For a Loved One at The Doctor.

How We Took Control of Cancer Hearing Loss.

When someone is hearing impaired, it makes the cancer journey so much more difficult. We have found some AMAZING products that have helped our journey tremendously. #resourcesforhearingloss #amazingproducts #advancedtechnology #qualityoflife

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