Hearing loss makes using the telephone difficult
When someone has 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.
Telephones are an important source of safety and social connection so fortunately, there’s a special type of phone that solves this problem – a caption phone.
Even better, caption phones and service are free for people with hearing loss through a program funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
We explain how caption phones work, why staying connected is important for senior health, and how seniors with hearing loss can get a free caption phone.
How caption phones work
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 – just dial and answer calls as usual. Speak and listen using the phone handset like always.
These phones are 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.
Keeping connected is important for senior health
Loneliness and social isolation have significant negative impacts on 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, a phone that can help older adults with hearing loss stay connected with family and friends can actually help improve 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 alphabetical order), here are some to consider:
- Hamilton CapTel
- InnoCaption – free service for smartphones
- T-Mobile 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.
Before going through the process, make sure your older adult has:
- Medically-recognized hearing loss
- High-speed internet connection – if needed, there’s one model that works over a standard analog telephone line only
- Standard home phone connection
- Standard electrical outlet
There should be no additional charges for delivery and installation.
A local trainer will help install the phone in the home. The trainer will make sure the phone works and teaches older adults how to use it.
The trainer will also complete the additional paperwork required by the FCC.
Recommended for you:
- 8 Sources of Low Cost Internet for Seniors
- 10 Common Signs of Hearing Loss in Seniors
- Reduce Dementia Risk by Treating Hearing Loss
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
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