I Didn’t Hear the Alarm!

Tim and Janis Gaule

In this month’s article, we would like to mention some products that might be helpful to you in hearing an alarm clock or smoke detector if you have impaired hearing. Tim wears a cochlear implant in his right ear and a hearing aid in his left ear. Tim is completely deaf in his right ear and has a profound hearing loss in his left ear. So, when he takes his devices off at night, it is very likely that he will not hear an alarm.

Tim uses the alarm on his Apple Watch as an alarm clock. It vibrates on his wrist and he feels that it works very well. It even has a snooze option for those cold mornings. Tim makes sure to charge his watch right after dinner so that it has a full charge at bedtime. There are other options for vibrating alarms, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch, and many fitness trackers, such as the Fitbit. However, these options only rely on vibration to wake you up.

If you tend to sleep through vibration, then your best choice might be a standalone alarm clock with extra-loud sound, flashing lights, different tones, and vibration (bed shaker). A search for “alarm clocks for the hearing impaired” on Amazon will identify several options. One popular option is the Sonic Bomb. It has the option to turn the alarm off if you don’t want to blast awake your spouse.

A more significant concern than oversleeping is not hearing the smoke alarm. At a minimum, it would be a good idea to install a smoke alarm with a strobe light, but be aware that older adults may be less responsive to strobe alarms. A better option would be to also install a bed shaker that picks up the signal of your smoke detector and sends a signal to a device under your pillow or mattress, which vibrates when the smoke alarm goes off.

You may want to consider the Sonic Alert Homeaware II Signaling Hub for an all-in-one solution. A built-in smoke/carbon monoxide listener notifies you immediately if one of your home’s existing smoke/CO detectors is activated, and the dual alarm clock can be used for your daily morning wake-up. Homeaware II even has the capability to send alerts to you or other contacts outside the home via smartphone notifications. More information can be found at www.diglo.com.

If you have comments regarding this article, our contact email is [email protected]. This is also a topic that we would be happy to discuss further at one of our monthly meetings. The Discussion Group for Better Hearing meets the second Friday of each month at 10 a.m. in the Sonoran Room at MountainView Clubhouse. For more information about the meetings, contact Jennifer Jefferis at [email protected] or Lyle Larson at [email protected].