Ask Anna: What phone should my hard of hearing parents use?
Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community.
My parents are looking to buy a new phone for their home. They asked me if I knew what to recommend, but I have no idea what the right model to offer would be. What type of phone do you suggest is best for someone who is hard of hearing?
Jim- in the United States
This can be quite a minefield as there are so many products out there.
You do not say if your parents have a hearing loss or if they wear hearing aids, but I will cover both scenarios. These are my top suggestions for the following situations: if they just have hearing loss and do not wear hearing aids, if they have hearing aids or if they specifically have Phonak hearing aids.
Hearing loss and no hearing aids
If both of your parents have a hearing loss, but don’t wear hearing aids check if the phone has an adjustable volume control. Many phones with volume controls have large buttons and controls, providing support for people with eyesight or dexterity issues.
If they wear hearing aids, check to see if they know whether or not their hearing aids have a telecoil, also known as T-coil built in. This means they can use phones that are T-coil compatible. When their T-coil program is active, the call is streamed directly from phone to hearing aid.
Phonak hearing aids
Do they already have Phonak wireless hearing aids? They can activate a phone program in their hearing aids, which is triggered when the phone is held to the ear. This program also streams the sound from the phone to the other ear.
In addition, Phonak offers a proprietary phone called the DECT phone or Dect Phone II.
Our latest innovation for phones is the Audéo B Direct. This is our MFA hearing aid, which simply means any phone with Bluetooth, including Bluetooth landline phones, will be compatible with this hearing aid.
Visit the audiologist
The best thing to do if they have hearing aids is to get them to speak to their audiologist. Their audiologist will know the hearing aids and how they will work with different models of telephones. Although both your parents are hard of hearing, they may have different needs depending on their individual hearing loss and/or hearing aids. A good idea is to have your parents go to the appointment together and you go with them for support.
If you have more questions don’t hesitate to ask.
I hope this helps,
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