Communicating with elders can often become a challenging task. As seniors are going through several physical or mental ailments and there are different in viewpoints, it becomes difficult to communicate. Also, they may be facing some psychological issues as well which further worsen the situation. Many elderly people are struggling with hearing, reading and general communication skills. We cannot communicate with them the same way we do with our peers. It is important to understand that as one grows older, he often becomes more difficult to understand. Here, we discuss about some useful tips and suggestions that aid in effective communication with elderly.
Effective Communication with Elderly : Tips and Suggestions
Consider Health Issues
Many elders face health problems that add difficult to their understanding. You should consider the person’ health issues such as hearing problems or memory loss before engaging in a communication. Such factors affect communication.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
You should take a conscious effort to speak to the elderly. Do not hurry and speak in a clear language while looking directly at the person. Many seniors face hearing problems and they might be lip reading you when you are talking to them. So, for effective communication with elderly, speak at a slow pace.
Consider Your Voice Pitch
You should adapt your voice according to the needs of the individual. For example, if the person is facing hearing issues, speak at a comfortable level. Having hearing issues do not imply that you start shouting simply because the listener is older. Adjust your volume according to the background noises. If there’s lot of distraction affecting your communication, try to move to a more quiet location.
Your Body Language
You may be saying something positive but if your body is communicating a negative message, it will have a negative effect. You should position yourself at eye level when speaking with the elder. Also, respond calmly to the emotions they are expressing. Non-verbal has its own role to play in effective communication with elderly.
Don’t Make Assumptions
One of the mistakes we often make is to assume. When it comes to your actions, ask questions instead of making assumptions. For example, instead of turning off lights straightaway in senior’s room, you can ask if it is okay to turn off the lights. Those small gestures can go a long way in making a good bond with the seniors.
Listening is also an important part of communicating effectively with the seniors. Listen to what they have to say and respond to what they are saying. During the conversation, you should always make sure that it is know you are listening to them. It can be a simple nod or word of acknowledgement. If you are unsure of what they are trying to say, you can ask questions in a polite manner and communicate more effectively.
Respect Generational Gaps
Often generation gaps create differences in opinions, views and general outlooks in life. You should respect the differences and work to better handle the communications with seniors. In addition, cultural differences also have an important role to play. Different cultures have different beliefs as to how elders should be treated. The awareness of the differences helps you to avoid any misunderstandings.
Patience is very essential for effective communication with elderly. You should give the opportunity to understand and digest information. It is likely that you may to have to repeat yourself a couple of times before the senior understand what you are trying to say. So, don’t get frustrated or irritated with them.
For those older adults who are suffering from hearing or memory problems, visual aids can help. It shows seniors what or who you are talking about.
So, these were some of the ways which help you to better communicate with the senior.
If you are looking for senior care services, contact Help-U-Care today for any assistance.