Saturday, November 7, 2009

Assistive Devices for seniors - Superphone

There are a lot available! There are things that lift, technology to help with hearing and clothing to make dressing and undressing easier.

We have ramps on a lot of homes in My Muskoka. In my book, I wrote about hubby's search for a Superphone for my Dad. Dad had a hearing loss in both ears. He was unable to make them work properly, his ears filled with wax, and he kept turning up the hearing aids until they screamed and whined,  and broke.

Book excerpt:

After his tumour was removed in 2003, he could not hear much. Brian did a great deal of research to find this phone. Dad’s “superphone” blinked when there was voice mail, and it upset him terribly. The problem was that when there was a phone message waiting, the huge, bright red light flashed and Dad could not figure out how to get access to the messages. They had never had voice mail.

Hubby ended up going to the various phone stores around Ottawa. Why not speak to a representative and find out the kind of phone that would boost hearing for Dad, and allow us to talk to him when, for example, Mom was having surgery or radiation and Dad was alone at the house?

At the first store, Bell, they all knew the ins and outs of every cell phone, and could find one for all needs. They had no idea what Brian was talking about when it came to a phone for the hearing impaired.

These young people, who had had PK seminars up the yin yang, and could navigate their way through Bell's computer, 'Emily', at the speed of a button push, had no product knowledge in this area.

What next? The Internet. Sure. After research, we knew more about these products than those who sold them. This is what we ended up with. Superphone. With the aging population and the Silver Tsunami, you'd wonder why on earth they do not know about these things.

This phone can be turned up, or turned to 'normal', and I could sit the receiver on the floor and still hear the conversation.

It has bells and whistles I had not heard of, nor had the 3 phone store reps in the various outlets Brian visited. This phone increases decibels by an exponential factor. As we queried the reps, they did not know what a dB was!

Decibel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic unit of measurement that expresses the magnitude of a physical quantity (usually power or intensity).

I was amazed. You'd think with cell phones, and cordless phones, this might be a number worth understanding. We wanted Dad's phone to amplify sound for him. We seldom talked to him on the phone.

This phone has large buttons, as many of us need reading glasses!

With a push button, you can go from 'normal' to a higher decibel ("amplify") in an instant, so that anyone in the house can answer it. I loved it. But Mom and Dad hated it. Another $300 down the drain. They did not like the light that indicated a call. They were not amused. Once Dad's brain tumour caused dementia, he accepted it a bit more. But, in the long run, he was unable to figure out the function of things like the phone or TV clicker, and we had to take the phone away. He was calling all sorts of people in town, and calling us at 2:00 in the morning.

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