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4 Suggestions for Effective Communication with Seniors

By Home Care Assistance, 9:00 am on

When you need to speak with your elderly loved one about important topics such as his or her health, finances, or any other subject that requires a focused conversation, you’ll need to be able to talk openly and with clarity. However, there may be a variety of factors preventing proper communication from occurring. The staff at Home Care Assistance of Grand Rapids offers these suggestions to help effectively communicate with your senior loved one.

1. Speak Distinctly

Many seniors live with some level of hearing difficulty. You can help your loved one stay involved in the conversation by making sure you enunciate your words clearly. You should also avoid speaking too loudly since this can distort your words. Since higher pitched voices are often the most difficult to hear, slightly lowering the pitch of your voice may make it easier for your loved one to understand you.

2. Eliminate Distractions

Background noise can make it difficult for a senior to follow conversations, especially if he or she has dementia. You can help by turning off TVs and other background noises when speaking to your loved one. It also helps to make sure you are seated where your loved one can see your face because your expressions can help him or her understand what you are saying and your intentions.

3. Offer Choices

Older adults want to retain some level of independence even when they require full-time care. Let your loved one make decisions whenever possible. For example, instead of telling your loved one what he or she will have for lunch, let him or her choose from a couple of options. Of course, you should keep the number of choices limited, as too many choices may be overwhelming for some seniors.

4. Don’t Be Condescending

You should avoid talking down to your loved one. The best way to do this is by not sounding cross or speaking to him or her in a patronizing tone. You should also remember to ask questions instead of assuming you know what he or she wants and needs. For example, instead of telling your loved one it is time for bed, you should ask if he or she is tired.

Keeping a solid line of communication open with your loved one can only strengthen your relationship and lead to discussing important matters. One of the topics you may need to discuss is the option of in-home care for your loved one. If you’re looking for hourly and live-in care Grand Rapids families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are all expertly trained in the Balanced Care Method, which helps seniors maintain social ties, stay active, and follow the healthiest diet possible while they remain in the comfort of home. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 616-243-0835 to schedule a free in-home consultation. We hope to hear from you soon.