As part of our Deafblind Life Hacks campaign, we have been receiving lots of great hints and tips from members and staff on how to make life a little easier when you have sight and hearing loss.
This work to help people who are deafblind live the lives they want is more important than ever at this time of year. With the clocks going back this weekend, we are all preparing for longer nights and colder weather. For people living with deafblindness, this can be the beginning of a particularly challenging time.
We know our members can sometimes feel vulnerable opening their front doors to unexpected callers when they know it is dark outside. Therefore, even in the late afternoon during winter this can be an uncomfortable experience.
Winter also brings icy footpaths and slippery wet leaves on the ground which can be very hard to identify if you have sight loss. This can lead to people who are deafblind being less keen to leave the house.
Our social groups are a vital part of many of our members’ lives and provide an important opportunity to meet up and socialise with others. However, we know in the winter some members feel less willing to attend due to the cold weather.
Even at home, the winter can be difficult, with some members being concerned about their utilities bills rising too much if they have the heat on.
Making life easier…
Many of our members are very confident with technology, and a quick Google search on a phone, tablet or computer can confirm what time the sun will set today. This can help you feel less disorientated and be more prepared for early, darker nights.
Lots of advice is available on how to manage winter fuel bills. This information from Citizens Advice may be a helpful starting point. You can visit them online at https://bit.ly/1OdVVTc or call us and we can put you in touch with your local office. It can also be beneficial to swap energy suppliers to a lower your bills. There are lots of websites available where you can compare prices and switch.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family or neighbours to help you with any of these tasks, especially if you need help getting information online or if you are struggling with the winter weather. Plus, if you need someone to talk to, our Information and Advice Line is free to call and is open from 9am to 5pm Monday – Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Friday.
Tel: 0800 132 320
Text: 07950 008870
Members of Deafblind UK could also consider booking something to look forward to when spring arrives and plan a stay in one of our caravans! Click here for more information.
If you know someone who is deafblind, or who might be struggling in the winter weather for any other reason, make sure you check in regularly to ensure they are OK. In particular, look for signs that they are warm at home and able to get out and about when they need to.
We hope your winter gets off to a warm, and safe, start this weekend.