Caregiver in Summit, NJ – Effective Communication
Even under ideal circumstances effective communication can be difficult. Medical conditions, such as hearing loss, dementia, post-stroke care, or short-term memory loss, may further complicate communication between aging parents and their adult children. These hardships can be overcome though, and effective communication practices with elderly parents can reduce stress and frustration as well aid family caregivers. They also greatly increase the likelihood of maintaining clear communication and important relationships with parents.
Consider Their Perspective
Each person has different communication needs, it’s important to assess and be mindful of these needs when speaking with the elderly. Many seniors may have little to no deficits in communication skills. In this circumstance, make sure that family and caregivers speak to the elderly with their normal volume and timing. Speaking loudly or slowly to people who do not have hearing issues may be seen as patronizing and has been referred to as “elderspeak”.
Be Mindful of the Setting
Many seniors may be able to hear and follow conversations very well at home, but struggle in some settings with a lot of chaos or ambient noise. One of the best methods for knowing if this applies is simply to ask.
Tips for Face-to-Face Communication
Face-to-face communications in loud or busy environments, like restaurants or social gatherings, can be especially challenging for those who have slight hearing loss. Good face-to-face practices should always be used, but be especially mindful of these tips in louder surroundings:
- Face older adults when speaking with them.
- Keep lips at the same level.
- Minimize background noise when possible.
- Monitor and control nonverbal behaviors.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Be mindful to make eye contact and try to avoid distractions like electronic devices that may be distracting.
- Genuinely listen to responses and be patient with delayed speech.
- Enunciate, mumbling is the nemesis of countless elders everywhere.
- Relay clear messages and pay close attention to sentence structure when conveying critical or complicated information.
- Avoid speaking slowly or at overly high volumes.
- Maintain a positive tone.
Know When to Back Off
If talking with your parents is difficult on a regular basis the best solution may be to simply back off. Care and concern can be taken as badgering and lead to frustration and alienation. If this pattern seems to be arising let the less pressing matters rest, offer help, and wait for parents to seem more receptive.
Medical conditions such as neurological events, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, and many others, require special communication considerations. Caregivers and adult children can access information specific to needs that accompany specific conditions and work with any speech pathology professionals that may be involved.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services near Summit, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at (908-418-4299).
Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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