Gransnet forums


Deafness & hearing the TV - are there any devices out there?

(19 Posts)
dontmindstayinghome Tue 22-Sep-20 20:06:01

My Mum is moving in with me on Saturday as she is not coping with the isolation in her sheltered flat due to the lockdown.

We have plenty of space for her but her deafness is a real issue for me.

Her TV is so loud that it can be heard from about five houses away. Its one of the main reasons she moved into the flat in the first place. I have very very sensitive hearing and the volume of her TV (or her radio) hurts my ears.

She doesn't sleep well so often has her TV blasting away all night. Many times I've had to get out of bed in the 'wee hours' to ask her to turn it down only to find she's blissfully asleep and its playing to itself!

Does anyone know of any 'personal amplifiers' or any other devices that are available that we could try?

I do use ear plugs and noise cancelling headphones but the ear plugs cause ear infections and I can't get to sleep when wearing headphones!


Pittcity Tue 22-Sep-20 20:13:28

You can get your Mum some wireless headphones and a Bluetooth adaptor to plug into the TV.

BlueSky Tue 22-Sep-20 20:27:35

I put subtitles on when I don’t want to miss the conversation.

phoenix Tue 22-Sep-20 20:28:39

Agree with Pittcity headphones for your mother is definitely the way to go.

Although if she wears hearing aids, you may have a problem!

dontmindstayinghome Tue 22-Sep-20 20:59:07

Thanks everyone for your responses, some good advice.

My Mum won't wear headphones - not sure why, I think it's probably because it spoils her hairdo smile.
(Although she did tell me once its because she can't fall asleep when she's wearing them grin).

She is prepared to wear the bud type earphones but she constantly breaks them by lying on them when she falls asleep!

I will be turning the subtitles on her TV as soon as she gets here but it means she has to keep her specs on so no good when she's watching TV in bed.

I'm going to order some bluetooth headphones and see how she manages with them (that'll be yet another job for me to make sure she puts them back on the charger)!

thanks again.

Nonogran Tue 22-Sep-20 21:16:18

Look up "Action on Hearing Loss"charity. They might help with suitable equipment.
On some TVs it's possible to set the volume so that when TV is initially switched on, it remains at the low preset volume.
On some TVs I think it's possible to set the size of the sub titles larger or smaller.
Ask optician about specs just for TV/reading sub titles.
I totally rely on sub titles.
Hope this helps.

Tangerine Tue 22-Sep-20 21:40:41

Headphones would be the best way to go, I think. I know someone who uses them and finds them very effective. It also means his wife can read her book without being disturbed by the TV.

Franbern Wed 23-Sep-20 07:48:54

I wear hearing aids in both ears during the day. Take them out at night. At night I use a bloothtooth headphone to listen to radio or audible books, or tv. Never need these at highest volume at any time. I only charge it once week and it does not take long.

Do find that even with headphones or hearing aids, that sub-titles help me hear better on Tv!!!!

A good sound bar can also help to make tv sounds clearer and sharper. There is also a system of having a wire run round a room which gives a 'loop' system to hearing aids.

jusnoneed Wed 23-Sep-20 08:47:57

Can you run some speakers from the tv to near to her bed? I know friends have small speakers set in a couple corners of the living room to give better sound.

Davidhs Wed 23-Sep-20 10:19:35

As long as her eyesight is reasonable subtitles may be the answer, most modern TVs have a subtitle button.
Otherwise not much you can do if she won’t use the aids available, maybe ear defenders for visitors.

infoman Thu 24-Sep-20 09:42:14

Just a note of caution about sub-titles,not all programmes come with sub-tiles and that includes some modern day produced programmes.
Having said that even, I can understand that a lot of "Talking pictures" films was not released with sub-titles.

Alexa Thu 24-Sep-20 10:05:39

I am deaf and always us subtitles. Usually I mute all sound.

What about a large enough screen so the old lady does not need her specs for watching TV? I use specs for reading and computer, but I am close enough to TV not to need specs.

patcaf Thu 24-Sep-20 17:38:52

Wireless headphones definitely the way to go. Mine (sony) plug into the jack in the back of the TV as the blue tooth ones were not as good. They are extremely well padded so can wear haring aids if required although by using sub titles as well I generally manage without the hearing aids. Can even walk around the house and still listen to the TV. Been using headphones now for 12 years after family persuaded me that TV was exceptionally loud and could be heard outside.

M0nica Thu 24-Sep-20 19:03:55

Dare I suggest that she is being very selfish by not taking into account your sensitive hearing and indeed the fact that she is probably keeping the whole neighbourhood awake, when they have work to do in the morning.

Perhaps the time has come for some kindly straight talking. Advanced age is not an excuse, only dementia.

Fennel Thu 24-Sep-20 20:14:45

I only use BBCiplayer and all the programmes I watch have subtitles .
Can't stand the voices anyway especially Boris's.

dontmindstayinghome Fri 25-Sep-20 20:19:00

Thanks again for all the responses, I will be investing in some wireless headphones and setting up her TV to display subtitles.

MOnica, believe me she has has the "straight talking to". She knows perfectly well the impact her deafness is having on my sensitive ears so hopefully we have reached a point where she is prepared to compromise!

She still doesn't see why it is unreasonable to put her TV on in the early hours when she can't sleep though.

Ironically, my neighbour is exactly the same so I am having to (politely) speak to her daughter about it too.

I will put up with the noise (from them both) during the daytime but honestly i'm not asking for too much to be able to sleep between 11pm and 8am am I?

Puzzled Sat 26-Sep-20 20:10:11

Have worn NHS hearing aids for about 7 or 8 years now.
The volume setting on the TV went down once I got them, to the delight of DW.
So if Mum will wear hearing aids, you should be able to watch TV (and she can watch in bed) with an acceptable sound level, and without the neighbours knowing your favourite programmes.

trisher Sat 26-Sep-20 21:43:21

My friend has just invested in some expensive hi-tech hearing aids. She says they are well worth the money -all sorts of settings on them so she can hear things better, including phone calls, cutting out background noise etc. If your mum could afford them she might find they make a huge difference to her life. Friend is much easier to socialise with now and says she finds it much easier to hear everything.

Spidergran3 Wed 07-Oct-20 14:30:02

I guess from your comments that your mum doesn’t wear hearing aids, which is a pity. I have two NHS hearing aids and a streamer that plugs into the back of the television and a receiver that I wear around my neck, I bought these myself. This means that DH can hear the television which he couldn’t if I used head phones. It also connects to my phone and is brilliant for calls and listening to music. As someone else has mention the Action on Hearing Loss website has lots of useful info.