This is the first in a series of Handicap Hack articles offering creative solutions to some of the unique problems faced by the handicapped and the elderly.
The last time I was crawling around my dad's floor with a flashlight in my mouth, searching for his lost hearing aids, I decided he needed a better container.
The cute little case his hearing aids came in require them to be nested perfectly in place in order to shut the case. Dad's 93, and doesn't have the eyesight nor the dexterity to do that. So he's been keeping the hearing aids in the flimsy plastic cup that came home with him from his last hospitalization. He drapes the right hearing aid over the top and places the left one inside so he can tell which is which. (Yes, as usual, the right hearing aid is marked with a red dot - Red for Right - but it's too small for him to see.) This makes the lightweight container top-heavy, and easy to tip over. When it falls, the tiny hearing aids, which happen to be exactly the same color as his carpet, go flying. And then he can't hear anything for a few days until I come visit and search for them. And hopefully he doesn't step on them in the meantime.
Once I spent hours looking unsuccessfully for one hearing aid that went AWOL while my daughter's new puppy was visiting. We finally decided the puppy must have eaten it. My daughter wasn't too happy about having to check every bit of puppy poop for a $1500 hearing aid! Not that the hearing aid would have worked upon its exit from the cute canine. But the VA wouldn't replace a lost hearing aid, they said they would only replace a damaged one.
Lucky for my daughter (and the audiologist at the VA!), I happened to find the hearing aid shortly after, in the crevice of the seat of the car, sans puppy poop.
So, avoiding hearing aid disappearances was the goal. After searching for possible container solutions that would fit my dad's needs, and coming up empty, I went to the art supply store. I'm an art educator, I should have known to try that first!
This little wood container works just fine, it's 3.5" wide x 6" long x 2" high. I glued colored felt inside (Red for Right, of course.)
What a great project this would be for Scouts or for church bazaars. It sure has made life easier for Dad! And making it (including buying the supplies) took less time than I spent trying to find something ready-made that would do the job.
Here are the instructions, in case you have a loved one who needs one:
STUFF YOU NEED: