What You Need to Know About Communicating with Senior Adults

Senior Care Fort Lauderdale FL

Communicating with senior adults has to be done in a much different manner than it is with any other age group. The reason for this is because of the physical, psychological, and emotional changes that occur as we age. Having an senior care aid has helped many seniors because this professional can work as a communicator between the elder and others. The more they work with the senior, the more they will know how to communicate with them.

Whether your loved one has hearing loss, a cognitive impairment, or other disability that makes it difficult to communicate, these tips will make it much easier for you to communicate with them.  

  1. Speak slower. When speaking at a slower pace, the senior will be able to absorb and comprehend the conversation or question being asked.
  1. Do not rush them. Older adults may take an extra minute comprehending what was being said to them and another minute to respond. Give them time to answer you. If they are taking a considerably long time responding, repeat the exact same question slower.
  1. Lean forward. When the senior is talking, lean forward. This will show that you are interested in what they have to say. Also, maintain eye contact as a way to show respect.
  1. Use the right tone. The pitch of your voice can make a huge difference in how well they are able to understand you. Keeping the tone of your voice low will make it much easier to understand you.
  1. Touch the senior. While speaking, it is perfectly acceptable to touch the senior on the arm or wrap your arms around them in a hug. This is an excellent way to show your love and appreciation for them.

Acknowledging Hearing Loss 

One of the biggest reasons for difficulties in communicating with senior adults is hearing loss. However, it may not be clear at first that this is the condition that is holding your loved one back from engaging in a conversation.

Watch for these symptoms of a hearing impairment.

  • They turn up the TV or radio at an extremely high volume.
  • They find it difficult to hear the person on the other end of a phone call.
  • They are unable to follow a conversation when 2 or more people are talking.
  • The senior complains constantly that others mumble when talking.
  • Background noise makes it difficult for the senior to listen.
  • They find it challenging to hear women or children talking.

If any of these symptoms are recognized, have your loved one talk to their doctor about it as soon as possible.

Source:  https://app.msf.gov.sg/portals/0/Summary/publication/Resource_Materials_Communication_with_Elderly_English.pdf

If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care in Plantation, FL or the surrounding areas to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Health. Call today 954-486-6440.