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9 Tips for Communication with Old Parents

Whether you are visiting a grandparent who occasionally works with older folks, age-related health issues might be a barrier to good communication. Chronic diseases like dementia and hearing loss, as well as drug side effects, can all hamper talk and understanding.

Here are some effective strategies for older ones: 

Listen carefully and allow them to lead the conversation

“Take the time to actually listen to your parents.” If they bring up anything that appears unconnected to the topic at hand, it’s always tempting to interrupt and redirect them. Listen to the getting older quotes as much as you can as they hold great depth and lessons. I believe that is the real gold that you can get. 

Never quarrel with or correct a parent suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia

“Do not argue or attempt to correct your parent. You will not succeed. You cannot persuade someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia that they are incorrect. And, you will not be able to convince them that your world is the genuine reality. Trying to correct them simply adds to their perplexity.

“Instead of simply “offering advice,” ask a meaningful inquiry.” 

Nobody likes being told what to do, so making a recommendation and allowing your parent consider his or her options may be a more successful tactic. If you believe your parent needs to hear a harsh reality (such as it may be time to sell the car), it may be best to have a third party, such as a family physician, initiate the conversation.” 

Never underestimate the power of a single email, phone call, or text message

If you have a computer or laptop, don’t underestimate the power of an email. You may simply contact a group of family members via email to organize caregiving, and if you have a camera on your phone or a scanner, you can scan or take images of vital papers to send via email. You may also use the same phone to send a photo message or text message if you need to update someone straight immediately.

Be mindful of the individual’s health difficulties

Older persons may have health issues that make speaking and comprehending harder. Before you communicate with someone, make sure you consider their health. They may, for example, have hearing, speech, or memory impairments. These conditions make communication more difficult. Also, keep in mind that chronological age is not necessarily a reliable measure of a person’s health.

Be aware of the context in which you are talking

Consider the setting in which you are communicating, since it may have an impact on your hearing and speech impairments. Is there any bothersome background noise? Is there a lot of talking going on in the same room? Is there any annoying music? Is there anything that might interfere with your communication? Ask the elderly person if they are comfortable in their surroundings. If you notice any disruption, try to relocate to a more peaceful and quiet location.

Use questions and words that are clear and explicit

If you believe there is a lack of comprehension, do not be afraid to repeat or rephrase your sentences and questions. Complicated questions and sentences may be perplexing to older adults with short-term memory loss or hearing loss. Constructions that are clear and precise are easier to understand.

A genuine grin indicates that you are understanding

It also fosters a welcoming environment in which to converse. Remember to take a breather between phrases and questions. Allow the individual to comprehend and assimilate information and inquiries. This is a very useful strategy for people who suffer from memory loss. Pauses demonstrate respect and patience. 

If possible, provide visual aids

When an elderly person has a hearing or memory difficulty, it is critical to be innovative. Visual assistance is beneficial. Show the person what or who you’re talking about. For example, it may be more appropriate to say, “Is your back hurting (pointing to your back)? “Do you have any pain or discomfort in your stomach?” rather than just asking “Do you have any pain or discomfort?””

Some elderly persons may not prefer to confess that they are deaf or hard of hearing, or that they have difficulty comprehending the discourse around them.” Maintain your cool and speak in a pleasant, matter-of-fact tone. If necessary, speak louder, but do not yell. Make an effort to pronounce it correctly and to avoid mumbling or speaking too hastily.

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