3 Tips for Better Communication with Seniors


When you think of the life your senior loved one has lived, they’ve probably experienced a number of major changes — not just with themselves, but in the world, at large. For example, an individual who was born in 1940 was raised by parents who endured the Great Depression. They also lived through a World War and saw the rapid rise of technology. The world they grew up in and worked in has changed a considerable amount, which can sometimes make it difficult to engage in communication with people from younger generations.

Communication is crucial for effective senior care Columbia, SC, but the generation gap between seniors and younger individuals has never seemed larger.

With that in mind, here are three tips to help you communicate more effectively with your senior loved one.

#1 — Be More Patient

Our fast-paced, multitasking world requires us to move swiftly and communicate rapidly much of the time. But that doesn’t help when you’re trying to connect with a senior loved one who is much more accustomed to a slower pace of life. That’s why we recommend practicing patience when communicating with seniors.

Take some time to simply sit with your loved one over a cup of coffee or tea. Ask questions and be prepared to sit back and listen to the answers. Resist the urge to help them find the right words or phrases constantly, and give them the space — and time — to express themselves authentically.

And whatever you do, do not take out your phone if you find your mind wandering! Instead, retrain your focus back on the conversation you’re having in the here and now with your loved one.

#2 — Empower by Asking

We are used to being focused on ourselves and our needs in our day-to-day lives. So much so that we tend to forget to ask questions and inquire about others.

When you’re communicating with a senior loved one, don’t make it about you; instead, ask questions and inquire about topics that the senior in your company would like to discuss. Ask about their needs and what you can do to help them. Offer choices and don’t make assumptions!

#3 — Speak Clearly and Be Aware of Your Environment

Sometimes communication issues that arise between older individuals and their younger counterparts have nothing to do with generational issues; oftentimes, communication problems are due to a lack of clarity in one’s speaking voice and/or environmental factors that can cause noise and distraction.

When you’re speaking with a senior loved one, be sure to enunciate properly and look them in the eye. Also, be sure that you’re accounting for background noises and other distractions. You may need to close a door or window to ensure that the environment is conducive for conversation.

More Help With Senior Care Columbia, SC

If you are experiencing difficulty caring for a senior loved one here in Columbia or the greater Midlands region and you need a helping hand, Always Best Care is here for you! Contact us today at (847) 241-8374 to learn more.

Posted In: Safety Senior Care
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