In a public shopping mall, you are talking to an older man whom you think has a hearing impairment. You talk louder, but he still seems to have some problems hearing and understanding you.
Have you ever found yourself in the situation above? The communication process, in general, is complex; it is prone to errors, misunderstandings, and worse, conflicts. If that’s the case, imagine just how complicated situations can be when dealing with older adults? The process can be made more difficult with vision and hearing deficiencies, physical and cognitive impairments, decline in memory, and other factors.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all remedy for communication problems in dealing with seniors, MOG Home Health Care services, your home care in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, suggests the following basic strategies to improve communication with them:
- Speak slowly and clearly
When talking to an elder, it is important to speak clearly and loud enough for them to hear you, but do not shout. Also, do not rush your instructions.
- Avoid distractions and background noises
As much as possible, reduce the amount of visual and auditory distractions such as other people and unsolicited sounds around you.
- Listen genuinely
Effective and good communication depends on good listening. There are many valuable information older adults can offer but may not be shared because people they communicate with may seem uninterested or too busy to listen.
- Exercise and respond with empathy and understanding
Most seniors experience frustration, anxiety, and uncertainty with regard to their own aging process, as well as aging-related chronic diseases. So, convey genuine empathy and understand them by going beyond simple pleasantries.