Maintaining a solid relationship with your elderly loved ones requires effective communication. Communicating with elders might occasionally need a different communication style than speaking with younger people, and the changes in roles that come with age can impact the dynamics of your relationships.
Thankfully, effective communication is a learning skill, so conversing with senior citizens may become less difficult with experience. Here are suggestions to help you communicate with elders more effectively if you're not sure where to begin:
Always Speak Clearly
Often, dealing with older clients requires lowering your voice volume. It's tempting to speak up, especially when you're on the phone with an elderly person since many of them have hearing loss. Although this tactic could work in some circumstances, it's not always practical to speak louder. Try lowering your register instead. No matter how loud the music is, hearing higher frequencies is harder as we age.
Furthermore, be mindful of your enunciation whether you choose to speak more out or in a lower register. Clear pronunciation is the first step to effective communication.
A senior loved one may talk more slowly than you are used to or feel comfortable with throughout your interaction. Be prepared for brief periods of silence and to wait while they ponder over their next move.
A single issue should be discussed at a time, and avoid asking additional questions. Those who are older may find this confusing. Additionally, take advantage of this to improve active listening. As your loved one is speaking, don't prepare a response or follow-up questions. Instead, pay attention with the goal of comprehending what they are saying. To grasp what people truly mean, pay attention to their body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions in addition to what they say.
Use Short And Simple Words and Sentences
One of the easiest ways to make sure your patients follow your directions is to simplify things and communicate in a way that is simple to understand. Never use technical or medical phrases that are difficult for the average person to grasp. Conversely, never presume that elderly individuals are familiar with even the most basic medical language. Rather, be careful to adopt methods that your people will find "familiar and comfortable."
Don’t Start Any Arguments
You might not always agree with elderly people if you are from a different generation. People with varied life experiences frequently hold diverse views on social problems, politics, and way of life decisions. Try to pick your battles even if you and your loved one disagree. By arguing with them, you're probably not going to change their opinion for life, and beginning a fight might make someone feel uncomfortable or alone.
Try to reach a compromise if you can't agree on a crucial choice. Finding a medium ground may be challenging, but make sure your loved one knows you are listening to them and value their opinion. Try your best to maintain composure and good manners during the talk, despite your frustration.
Remember To Show Your Respect
Start by displaying respect while practicing good communication techniques with senior citizens. The elderly aren't illiterate, even if they might speak more slowly than others or need things to be repeated to them. To better understand where they are coming from, put yourself in their position. Then, treat them how you would want to be treated if you were in their position.
The time it takes to identify a solution for your elderly loved one might occasionally be longer than usual. Having polite, productive conversations with elderly people may take time, but if you stick to your principles of respect, you'll get a greater outcome.