Hearing loss makes using the telephone difficult
When older adults have hearing loss, using the phone can become nearly impossible. If your older adult has been avoiding talking on the phone, that could be the cause.
But telephones are an important source of safety and social connection. So, we found a special type of phone that solves this problem.
It’s called a caption phone. Even better, internet-based caption phones and service are free for people with hearing loss through a program funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
On a caption phone, the live phone conversation appears in easy-to read text on a large screen. Other than that, it works like a regular telephone – dial and answer calls as usual. Speak and listen using the phone handset like always.
They’re helpful for people with hearing loss that affects their ability to use a standard telephone. It gives them a lifeline in case they need to call for help as well as keeping them connected to family and friends.
We explain why helping older adults keep connected is important for health and how seniors with hearing loss can get a free caption phone.
Keeping connected is important for senior health
Studies have shown that seniors who are socially isolated tend to have greater risk of death and die earlier. They also have poorer quality of life while they’re alive.
So, helping older adults with hearing loss connect with family and friends, like through the telephone, improves mental and physical health.
How seniors can get a free caption phone
To get a free caption phone, first choose a company that sells caption phones.
There are many companies that offer caption phones and service (in alphabetic order), here are some:
- Hamilton CapTel
- InnoCaption – free service for smartphones
- Sprint CapTel
To get a free caption phone and service, people with hearing loss must certify that they have a hearing loss that necessitates use of captioned telephone service.
Companies that offer caption phones will be able to guide you through the qualification process. Typically, a form like this one must be completed and then signed by a medical professional or audiologist.
Before going through the process, make sure your older adult has:
- Medically-recognized hearing loss
- High-speed internet connection
- Standard home phone connection
- Standard electrical outlet
There should be no additional charges for delivery and installation. A local trainer helps install the phone in the home. The trainer makes sure the phone works and teaches how to use it.
The trainer will also complete the additional paperwork required by the FCC.
Recommended for you:
- Affordable Hearing Aid Alternatives for Seniors: Hearing Amplifiers
- 10 Helpful Products for Hearing Impaired Seniors Increase Independence and Safety
- 7 Sources of Low Cost Internet for Seniors
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
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