5 Tips for Better Communication with Elderly Parents

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Even for families who normally have great communication, keeping that communication open can become more difficult when older family members enter their senior years. This can result from decreased health, hearing impairment, or many other situations. Home Care Assistance, a leading Tampa senior care provider, has put together this list of 5 tips to help you communicate better with your elderly loved one.

1. Choose an Appropriate Time and Place

While holidays and family reunions can be a great way to see your loved one, they are not always the best times for having a serious conversation. If there is an issue you need to discuss together, try to make a special trip, phone call, or set time aside before other family members arrive. This can help communication flow easier. Also, be aware television, radios, or other noise can distract from a conversation. Try to talk with your loved one in a calm, quiet environment.

2. Listen to What Your Loved One Says

It can be tempting to interrupt or fill in long pauses while communicating with an elderly loved one, but he or she may feel unheard as a result. Let your loved one completely finish his or her sentences without interruption and try to really listen without having your thoughts wander. Silence in the conversation can mean your loved one is thinking about what to say, and filling the silence can block his or her attempts at replying.

3. Don’t Offer Advice

As your loved one ages, you may have opinions about his or her health, relationships, or abilities to perform tasks. It can be difficult for senior parents to be in this reverse role, as they were once the ones who gave the advice. A person outside of the family, such as a lawyer or doctor, may be better suited to give professional advice to your loved one, which you can then support.

4. Speak Distinctly

Your loved one may have an age-related hearing loss. Speak clearly and enunciate your words so he or she can understand you clearly or read your lips. Many seniors have a difficult time with high-pitched voices and sounds. If your voice is naturally high, you can try speaking in a lower tone so your loved one can hear you more clearly.

5. Keep Conversations Simple

During important conversations, raise one issue at a time you would like to address. Your loved one may have decreased stamina or memory problems that can make complex discussions frustrating. Prioritize the subjects that need to be addressed and have multiple talks with your loved one to avoid causing any confusion or exhaustion.

After communicating with your senior loved one, you may discover he or she faces challenges resulting from decreased health,which can lead to unsafe or uncomfortable living conditions.A live-in or hourly caregiver in Tampa may be just what your loved one needs to promote his or her physical and mental wellbeing. The caregivers at Tampa Home Care Assistance can offer your loved one companionship and emotional support, and also help with a variety of daily tasks, including meal preparation, light housekeeping, and exercise. There are no long-term contract requirements or hidden fees, and we back all of our senior care services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (727) 330-7862.