Finding the right assisted living facility is a task. It can become even more complicated when you or a loved one are deaf or experience hearing loss. Here are a few things you should look for when visiting a deaf-friendly assisted living facility.
Culture And Staff Awareness
Not every staff member may be fluent in American Sign Language but check that there is always a professional interpreter available. It’s also good for nursing staff to know the basics of ASL to aid with everyday communication.
There are proper and efficient ways to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing. The staff should have some cultural awareness as to the needs of deaf seniors. A medical interpreter is another necessary staff member that can help explain health conditions and medical terminology.
Technology, like communication boards and voice-to-text equipment, is essential for resident-staff relationships. When you visit a prospective assisted living facility, ask about audiovisual communication equipment.
Are there different multimedia to support communication? What is the usual process for communication without sign language?
Teletypewriters and telecommunication devices for the deaf are essential to break through linguistic barriers and support individualized care. Get your loved one’s input on their expectations from a deaf assisted living facility and ask staff plenty of questions.
Hearing Loss Safety Equipment
Trained staff and communication equipment will help you or a loved one meet the highest possible living standards. An assisted living facility becomes a home away from home and should have procedures in place for the overall safety of the hard of hearing. Assisted living facilities that cater to the deaf should have:
- Light-up alarms, doorbells, and phones to alert residents of visitors
- Vibrating beds and strobe lights to in case of an emergency
- Alarm systems in sleeping and common areas
- Video or captioning call technology