Welcome to the first installment of this series - products for the home.
I know for the Deaf (Culturally Deaf), this is "old news", but I'm aiming towards the newly deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people for awareness and understanding.
First let's talk about the optimum home layout for the Deaf.
The "Deaf Space" consists of maximizing proximity, acoustics (vibrations), lighting, colors, and transparency in a home (or building).
Let's use the photo above for an example, the couch allows Deaf people to see each other easily while chatting, lot's of natural lighting available, and the open space concept means that a Deaf person upstairs can wave and get the attention of another downstairs.
Other ideas would be open kitchens where there's access to the living room, wood floors to carry vibrations (stomp on the floor to get attention from across the room) and clear sight lines for chatting and visual alerts.
Now let's look at some products:
There are a wide of variety of visual alert systems on the market - sold as combo sets or single purpose use.
First, what is a visual alert system? A visual alert is a system to monitor the home and alerts the deaf or hard of hearing person of noise in their surroundings. Sounds such as the doorbell, telephone, baby crying, alarm clock, smoke alarm, and anything you set it for.
Like I said, there are many different products available, but I'll discuss the one I use - the Clarity Alertmaster. The main unit is set up in my bedroom (because of the alarm clock and bedshaker), and has a lamp plugged into it. There's a wireless doorbell attached to the front door, a receiver attached next to the smoke alarm, and the landline can be plugged into the back of the unit for phone calls. There are receiver units set up in different rooms in the house for alerting as well. Extra receivers and sound monitors can be bought as well.
I know you don't need additional products for closed-captioning as all televisions are required to have it installed. Many channels and streaming services offer it as well (not all, but most).
But I brought this up as I've seen many, many stories of hearing family members complaining about having the captioning on for their deaf or hard of hearing member.
Yes, I'm serious.
There are folks, who disregard the needs of their deaf or hard of hearing family member to fully participate because they're annoyed by the moving text. What does that attitude appear to that deaf or hard of hearing member? Dismissive, uncaring, unloving - drives a bigger divide between the two of you.
Just turn it on and after a while you won't notice it. Besides 80% of caption users aren't even deaf or hard of hearing - use it for understanding accents, loud backgrounds, and other situations where you might miss what's said.
TV Viewing - Other than Captioning
If you have residual hearing you depend on for listening, but turning up the television volume bothers other family members (and possibly your neighbors), there are a few options for TV viewing:
* Wireless Earbuds - For those with mild loss and don't use hearing aids, or to wear without hearing aids.
* Wireless Headphones - The same as above but have full headphones to ear over ears and may fit over some hearing aids.
* Listening Loops - Worn around the neck, this works with the hearing aid's telecoil to wireless transfer sound to your heaing aid.
Yes, Deaf and Hard of Hearing folks can use phones, just in a different way that you're accustomed to.
Here are several phone options:
* Amplified Phones - have extra loud ringers, volume controls, and are hearing aid compatible.
* Captioned Phones - Works with a relay operator to caption the other person's portion of the conversation. The user speaks and reads the responses.
* VideoPhones - These are provided by a number of Videophone companies - either a machine attached to your television, a website to access, or an app to download. I personally support Convo as they're owned by Deaf folks.
* Cell phones - I can't tell you what cell phone would be best for you as that's all personal choice, prices, carriers, and a lot more. But I can tell you about a cool product to use with your cell phone so you won't miss any notifications - a bluetooth vibrating alarm. This connects wirelessly to your smartphone, stick the bedshaker alarm under your mattress or bed (or in your chair or couch), and receive vibration alerts for phone calls, texts, or whatever you set it for.
Now, what about emergencies?
If you live in weather-prone areas, such as myself in Oklahoma (Tornado Alley), you'd want to be alerted for severe weather. I use a Weather Alert Radio with a Strobe light. It does come with a vibrating bedshaker, but I love the strobe light as it helps emphasize the importance of the alert. With the regular lamp and bedshaker I can choose to ignore it - "let hubby get it", but with the strobe light, I know "get up NOW!"
Other resources you can read about adapting your home for hearing loss are:
* 6 Important Fire Safety Precautions for Families with Disabled Children
* Home Alarm Systems for People with Hearing Loss
* Designing & Redesigning Homes for the Deaf
* Hearing Loss affects the Entire Family
If you have other suggestions or questions, feel free to contact me.
Disclosure: Some links contain affiliate links & I may recieve compensation from them.
Today marks three years since I got a kidney transplant.
June 24, 2015
So, I wanted to post the Facebook interactions before, during and after to show the progress:
* January 7, 2013 - Nephrology Appointment - Kidney Function slipped to 16%
* August 6, 2013 - Registered on the Kidney Transplant list in
Tulsa (it's closer)
* May 13, 2014 - Nephrology Appointment - Kidney Function slipped to 15%, Creatinine is at 2.6 (Normal is 0.7-1.5)
* June 23, 2015 - They found a Kidney! Off to Tulsa
* June 24, 2015 - Surgery day 5am. Was told it will be 2 days in the ICU and then 4 - 5 days in a regular room for recovery
* June 25, 2015 - Moved out of ICU
* June 29, 2015 - Discharged from hospital
* July 15, 2015 - Wrote a Blog post on the experience
* July 27, 2015 - Kidney Biopsy done after Creatinine jumped to 1.8 after weeks of being at 1.6 (Results - no sign of rejection). (Have had 4 biopsies done to date.)
* July 29, 2016 - Signs of cellular rejection - first of 3 Antibodies I.V. transfusion - 8 hours to complete
* June 24, 2018 - Labwork every 3 months & Clinic visits every 6 months now.
Consider being a Donor
Please think about being a donor.
* Check off the donor option on your Driver's Licence
* Sign up at the Organ Donor Registry
* Volunteer to be a living donor at the American Transplant Foundation
* Share information
* Support the Organ Donation Network
Now it's time to clean out probably one of the most cluttered places in our house.
Who else has kids (or adults) that open a closet door, throw in shoes or things and quickly shut the door again before the rebound? Or have a closet that seems to have more stuff on the floor than on hangers or shelves?
Clearing out your Closets
Pull everything out and organize them into piles on the floor, on a bed, or on a table.
Start organizing for each member of the family:
Organize the Closet
Let's start putting things back:
* If it's feasible, install a Closet Organization System. This would help a lot with saving space.
* Use color assigned hangers for each family member for easier finding. This not only helps with laundry sorting, but works in the main closet with everyone's coats together. (Or in sibling-shared bedrooms).
* In the main closet, get a basket for each family member and have them store all their accessories and belongings in it.
* Store seasonal clothes in bins out of the way (laundry room or garage), or in the back of the closet (usually the unreachable side).
* As I mentioned in a previous post, go vertical. Use the door space for a shoe rack, install another smaller shelf above the standard shelf for more storage space, use the side walls for more storage ideas.
Hope these ideas help get your closets organized and get your day started easier and everyone out the door faster!
If you have recently decided to purchase a hot tub, there is no doubt that your entire family is excited and anticipating the day it arrives. There is no experience quite like being able to just relax and enjoy the bubbling, soothing water in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
Not only that, a hot tub can significantly increase the amount of quality time that your family spends together. Below, we will take a look at some of the ways it can make your family time extra enjoyable.
Gathering Point for Fun
Your hot tub will quickly become a focal point for family gatherings, BBQ’s and celebrations. To maximize your enjoyment, create a comfortable and functional outdoor living area and accessorize with patio furniture, a fire pit or even an outdoor kitchen. Whether it is a sunny summer day or cool winter evening, your family time can be enjoyed together outdoors while breathing in the fresh air.
Love having a family game night? Invest in one of the many hot tub friendly waterproof board games or card decks available. The fun of enjoying a game together while soaking in the warm water makes for a memorable evening without even having to leave the house.
Stay Healthy and Active
A hot tub is a perfect place to introduce your children to water and teach them how to swim. This in turn also will encourage them to stay active and exercise regularly. Swimming is an ideal way to stay active and a number of fun exercises can be performed in a hot tub to help your entire family maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even just batting around a beach ball will keep everyone active while having a blast. For children, regular exercise is a must for developing a strong body and immune system and for adults, physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight as well as reduces the risk for a number of illnesses and diseases.
Today, so many kids and adults alike are glued to electronics, phones, and technology. Owning a family hot tub provides the perfect environment to set aside time and unplug. Spending quality time together in the hot tub is something that everyone in the family can look forward to and will enjoy catching up on each others news. If you have teenagers at home that can be difficult to pry away from their phones or computers, water and electronics do not mix so it is the perfect excuse for them to put their smartphone down and relax!
The warm water in a hot tub helps to increase blood flow, improve circulation and assists our body in detoxing naturally. This, in turn, boosts our immune system and helps us ward of colds and other viruses. With a stronger immune system, the whole family is happier and healthier!
If you have been looking for a way to invest in your home and the quality of your family time, purchasing a hot tub is an excellent choice. Even the shopping process is a family event - get the kids involved in picking out their favorite features and participating in testing out the different models that you are considering.
About the Author
Scott Bland has been in the leisure industry for nearly 20 years. As a sales manager in the leisure industry he knows hot tubs inside and out. Right now he works sales while writing about consumer goods on the side. If you want to contact him, you can do so at his LinkedIn.
Hi, I'm starting a Series of blog posts for low vision products to use around the home.
The sections will be:
I hope you will join me as I explain each area and the products that can help with low vision - both low tech and high tech.
This series will run throughout the month of March!
Please help me out and let me know what other area would you like to see covered.
We all fall into a rut now and again. Whether it’s in our personal life, at work, in our relationships, or just an overall feeling of tiredness.
It’s not a physical tiredness that can be fixed with a good nap, but an overall mental and spiritual weariness.
Here are three ways to snap out of it:
1. Move on from your Regrets
We may be regretting something and that’s holding us back mentally, such as regretting not getting the job we wanted. We have a tendency to over-analyze past events especially when it’s a negative one. We want to create all kinds of alternative outcomes for it, but we fail to remember that it’s in the past.
We cannot change the past, but we can plan for the future. Instead of dwelling on “what did I do wrong”, focus on planning and improving for next time. “So, I didn’t get Job X that I really wanted, I’ll practice more on my interview skills for the next one”.
We cannot change the past, change our actions, fix our regrets, and such, but we can change the present and the future and that's where we should be focusing on and that is a quick way to snap out of a rut.
2. Know Your Comfort Zone
This quote is true, we do not truly gain new experiences, new understandings, and growth if we stay in our comfort zone. Staying “safe” in our zone is usually the real reason why people feel they’re in a rut.
Analyzing and understanding why you’re in that certain comfort zone is key to getting out of your mental rut. Admittedly this is probably the hardest step to overcome and you may not want to do it alone.
To help you work your way out of that comfort zone and work out what's holding you back may require a therapist or a psychologist. Learn the difference between the two and find local help.
Whether it’s a childhood event or something more recent, getting help stepping out of your boundaries is so freeing and opens the door to so many opportunities you didn’t want to even consider before.
3. Set Realistic Goals
Another easy way to get out of a rut is to set realistic goals. Sometimes we set goals so high that we just quit before we start and wallow in the same spot.
Here’s how to remedy that:
No matter the reason behind your feelings of being in a rut - you need to overcome it in order to move on with your life. Feeling lost and miserable is an awful place to be, I've been there, so if you feel that you're in too deep to even start climbing out - please seek help.