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Guide to Communicating with Elders

By Marius Butas, 8:00 am on

It can be challenging to watch a parent grow older, especially when health problems become an issue. One of the most important things that family members of an elderly parent can do is learn how to communicate effectively and respectfully. Here are a few tips provided by senior caregivers in Mesa that will help you enhance the conversations you have with your elderly parent.

Listen Intently to What Your Elderly Loved One Says

Sometimes adult children of elderly parents who are in declining health stop listening and start lecturing. Although you may lecture a parent about his or her health because you are concerned, it’s much better if you listen. Listening carefully to someone you love will show them you care, and then he or she will feel more confident that you will help in the best way possible. Have a “listen first” policy when visiting an ailing parent.

Use Simple, Direct Communication

If you have an elderly parent who doesn’t hear well, has memory problems, or has any other cognitive challenges, it’s important to use language that is simple and direct. Avoid using words or slang that isn’t familiar to someone of an older generation. If your parent is suffering from cognitive impairments, it’s best not to use sarcasm that might be misunderstood or cause mood swings. An expertly trained in-home dementia caregiver in Mesa can also be of assistance while family members are learning effective ways to communicate with their aging loved one with dementia.

Be Patient

Among the most important things you can do to communicate effectively is to show patience. Not only should you demonstrate patience with your word choice and tone of voice, but also in your body language. Aging adults may take a little bit longer to express how they feel or may need extra time and assistance in order to tell a story. It’s best not to make an elderly loved one feel rushed or make them feel like you aren’t genuinely interested. When you aren’t patient, your loved one may shut down and begin isolating themselves.

These three simple tips are the foundation of good communication with elderly loved ones who may struggle communicating. With the right mindset, you will be able to show your love, respect, and concern through meaningful communication.

If you’re seeking skilled and professional in-home senior care in mesa, AZ for an aging loved one, look to Home Care Assistance. Our hourly and 24/7 senior caregivers in Mesa are able to not only assist your aging loved one with daily tasks, but they are also there to support your whole family as you learn how to adjust to your aging parent’s new needs.

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call us today at (480) 699-4899.