Maintaining a strong relationship with your elderly loved ones requires good communication. Because communication is a learned skill, conversing with elderly people can get easier with practice. Here are three suggestions for good communication with aging parents.
Distractions Should Be Minimized
Because your aging loved ones are more sensitive to sounds than younger people, background noise might make it difficult to communicate with them. If your elderly relative has difficulties hearing, additional noise can make it even more difficult for them to understand what you’re saying. Too much stimulation might be upsetting for people who are experiencing cognitive impairment.
When you’re speaking with your elderly relative, turn off the TV, radio, or any other distracting devices. Also, try to eliminate visual distractions. While you’re speaking, turn to face your loved one so they can see your lips move and your nonverbal expressions. Because people can hear you more clearly, avoid speaking on the phone and choose to talk in-person instead. If a hard talk is necessary, do so at home, where you have greater control over the surroundings and possible distractions.
Make Use of ‘I’ Statements
This is a useful strategy for communicating effectively with individuals of all ages, not just seniors. When others utilize ‘you’ remarks, people often feel assaulted. If someone tells you you have to go to bed early, you can feel like you’re being told what to do. You can feel unfairly stigmatized if someone says you always forget to schedule your doctor’s appointments.
When communicating with a loved one, using ‘you’ words frequently may cause them to withdraw or get defensive. Change ‘you’ statements to ‘I’ statements to retain a good relationship while expressing the same information. I think it’s crucial to get to bed early tonight is a phrase you can add, or I’ll help you remember to arrange your appointments. You can emphasize the team effort while avoiding managing or scolding your loved one with this communication technique.
Don’t Start Arguments
You and the loved one may not agree on everything if you are from different generations. People from different eras have varying perspectives on politics, social concerns, and lifestyle choices. Even if you and your partner disagree, try to pick your conflicts carefully. Arguing with them is unlikely to influence their opinions for the rest of their lives, and initiating a fight can make them feel uneasy or alone.
If you can’t agree on something significant, attempt to find a middle ground. It may be difficult to find a happy medium, but let your loved one know that you are listening and that you value their opinion. Keep your tone of voice, word choice, and facial expressions in mind. Even if you’re angry, do your best to remain calm and civil during the talk.
Consider Senior Living at TerraBella Summit
Consider seeing a therapist if you or a loved one is experiencing mental health issues. Counseling is an excellent technique to improve your mental and emotional health as well as your communication abilities. TerraBella Summit and its devoted team members collaborate to provide the highest-quality senior living and care, as well as a fun, satisfying way of life, that you or a loved one desire and truly deserve.
Call us at 864.271.7562 to find out more now!