Take a staycation from hearing loss!
Ask the majority of people who live in Indiana and they’ll tell you they’ve never been to the Indianapolis 500 or the Brickyard 400. The same thing goes for those who live in Arizona. You’d be surprised at the amount of that state’s residents who have never visited the Grand Canyon! Does this sound like you? Are there famous attractions in your state or district that you’ve never visited?
If so – and cash is low this summer – consider a staycation. Although this term was coined back in the infamous summer of 2008 when the economy tanked, its value is still relevant today. Look around. There are great places in your community that can provide the same kind of enjoyment and adventure as you would receive traveling across country – for a fraction of the cost.
Yes, we said bowling! Get a little active and have a ton of fun at your local bowling alley. No worries if you aren’t a good bowler or don’t have equipment. Most facilities supply shoes and house bowling balls, along with mechanical scoring at each alley. Ask for bumpers, which keep your bowling ball from going in the gutter or see if the facility has glow-in-the-dark bowling at night.
Hearing aid tip: bowling alleys can be loud so check with your audiologist to see if your hearing aids should be adjusted for this environment.
You don’t have to go down the big slide if you don’t want to, but you might want to grab a raft and float down the lazy river at your local water slide park. Check online to see if they offer discounted rates during the week days or if there are discounted coupons available at their retail partners in the community.
Hearing aid tip: keep those hearing aids dry and working effectively at the water park by thinking ahead. If you know you’ll be immersing yourself in the water, carry a water-proof container to store your hearing aids. If you won’t be in the water but want to keep your hearing aids safe from accidental splashing, ask your audiologist about purchasing water resistant, spandex nylon sleeves. And no matter how careful you are, there’s always a possibility your hearing aids will get wet, so make sure you invest in a hearing aid dryer. These inexpensive units may save you big bucks in the event you accidentally jump in the pool with your hearing aids – or get pushed in by a prankster.
It’s hot in Arizona during the summer. It’s so hot many residents leave for vacation homes in cooler areas of the country. What does that mean for Arizona residents who don’t try to escape the heat? Great deals on resort prices right in their own backyard.
Chances are, the same is true for you. Subscribe to an online website, like DealChicken or Living Social, or subscribe to the Sunday paper and read the travel section. That’s where you’ll find great hotel packages not very far away from home for you and the family. Many resorts have great family pricing during the summer, including discounted rates for children under 12.
If a member of your family has hearing loss, check the amenities page of the resorts you are considering to see what type of accommodations they may have for their hearing-impaired guests. Many have TTY or TDD services, along with shake alarms or close captioning televisions upon request.
If you belong to AAA or AARP, your membership may also get an additional discount on rooms and services.
Knowledge is power, so they say, and community museums hold the key to a lot of both. Many have docents who give guided tours through the exhibits, especially if the facility is home to a traveling exhibit for a month or two. Before you go, look online to see if they offer assistive listening devices or a loop system. Loop systems are becoming more and more popular in public attractions. A hearing loop is a wire that encircles a room and is connected to a sound system. The loop transmits sound electromagnetically, which is picked up by the telecoil in your hearing aid or cochlear implant.
Hearing aid tip: If you’re visiting a museum with a loop system, ask your audiologist how to set your hearing aids to work with this system.
Zoos and Aquariums
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the zoo or the aquarium – just a kid at heart. Many of these attractions offer animal encounters for visitors with giraffes, sting rays, dolphins, camels and elephants, or more extensive programs for adults, teachers and volunteers.
If your local attraction offers guided tours or train rides, ask if they have assistive listening devices so you can hear the narrator more completely. If the information isn’t listed on their website, take a few moments and make the phone call.
Hearing aid tip: If you volunteer to work with the animals, be sure to protect your hearing aids or cochlear implants from their curiosity. Hearing aids are easy to swallow and pose significant danger to any animal which ingests them. (Some animals may be bothered by the whistling sound some hearing aids make and decide to investigate.) If you’re just visiting, no problem; however, if you decide to volunteer as a zoo keeper for the summer or participate in a program that involves working with animals, schedule a visit with your audiologist before you begin. They will be able to recommend the appropriate setting for you to use or an accessory – such as a hat or sleeve – which will help keep your hearing aids in place and safe from inquisitive hands and muzzles.
Rumor has it (and it’s been confirmed) that Kokomo, Indiana was named after resident Indian chief KoKoMa. Additionally, one of the parks in the middle of town showcases the worlds’ largest steer, Old Ben, who weighed more than two tons when he died in 1910, along with the world’s largest sycamore tree stump measuring 57 feet in circumference and 12 feet high. Elwood Hayes, a Kokomo resident, built the first gasoline powered car, so there’s a museum named after him in town, along with the Seiberling mansion, which houses relics from the big gas boom that attracted settlers to the area. That just proves that every town was named for something – or someone – of significance.
What is your city famous for? Chances are, you have a monument, museum, or commemorative park named in its honor. Do a little online investigating, then pack a picnic lunch, make sure your hearing aid batteries are fresh and hop in the car to explore adventures in your own backyard this summer.