Each month I write an article for the HealthyBody section of a locally distributed newspaper. May being Better Speech and Hearing month seemed a perfect time to highlight the importance of access to communication no matter what your underlying condition or medical setting.

We have all read sad stories of patients dying alone in the hospital because of visitor restrictions during the COVID pandemic. Without access to communication, an intubated patient cannot express their most basic needs, fears, or preferences.

I have embedded the article here, but if you would like to read the original article, just follow the linkhttps://charlottecounty.floridaweekly.com/pageview/viewer/HealthyBody#page=8

If you have a chronic disease diagnosis, now is a good time to review your Advance Directives with you physician and appointed health care surrogate. Advance Directives are designed to safeguard your choices and preference regarding treatments and advanced life support should you ever be incapacitated and/or unable to speak for yourself.

For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, I am including a link to an excellent resource: https://www.deafhhtech.org/rerc/how-do-deaf-hard-of-hearing-deafblind-communicate-with-doctors-nurses-and-staff-at-the-hospital-during-covid-19/