A lack of communication can present a real big obstacle when it comes to caring for the elderly. Expressing yourself clearly and improving your communication skills with senior adults will help you to get your ideas across better and also understand what they are trying to say.
The following tips are good for you or your loved one’s elder care provider to know so you are more effective in communicating with your elderly parent.
Tips for clear communication with the elderly:
- Keep sentences short and concise.
- Don’t make your voice sound like you are talking to a child.
- Ask simple questions and then pause for a minute so they can answer before you rush on to the next sentence.
- Give them time to process your question or comment and formulate their reply.
- Only address one subject in one sentence.
- Limit your vocabulary slightly, if necessary, especially if the senior has some form of dementia.
- Make the elder you are talking to the center of attention.
- Discuss topics that are familiar to the elderly person.
- Be very gentle and caring in your choice of words and tone of voice.
- Don’t use popular slang or words that could be misunderstood. The elderly person isn’t going to be familiar with common slang words that have been started by the younger generation.
- Understand their values, their struggles and their identity. Barriers will melt when they can tell you are being very considerate of where they are coming from.
- If there are unresolved issues you need to bring up, be extra sensitive. Try to make uneasiness disappear by being very client and kind in your choice of words.
- Always be honest and use straight forward language. Don’t beat around the bush it will only cause contentions to arise.
- Be very respectful in how you address the senior person and never talk down to them.
- Allow your elder ample time to think about each thing you say before you expect an answer.
- Allow their feelings to be heard and recognized.
- If they want to bring up a subject and talk about it, no matter how sensitive the topic may be to you, allow them to discuss it. They will have a renewed respect for you when you show that you are willing to listen.
- Don’t bring up problems from the past if there is no need to. It can be too upsetting to the elder and since everyone has their own perspective of things, there may not be any positive outcomes anyway.
- The elder may want to reflect and reminisce. Let those listening ears be yours.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of elderly care in Greece, NY contact the caregivers at Caring Hearts of Rochester, LLC. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (585) 245-0134 for more information.
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