Hi, this is Anthony Diaz at Rosa’s Chante Assisted Living. If you are caregiving a family member you know there are major changes happening in everyone’s life. Your elderly parents or relatives are now seniors and require a lot of understanding. Communication may at times be difficult. There are many reasons why it can be hard to communicate with the elderly. Dementia, Alzheimer’s and strokes can be some of the major reasons.
Other reasons it can be so difficult to communicate is that it is hard for elderly parents to give up their independence. They find it awkward to rely on their children. They may be somewhat uncomfortable to talk about daily personal care issues or sensitive subjects. Here is where you need to have patience and try to understand what they are going through.
There are positive ways to deal with better communication with the people you are caregiving. First, remember to respect the person you are caregiving. Often it is your parents and they deserve respect which also means treating them as equals. Make sure you know that their opinions have value. In addition to respecting them make sure you listen and that you are aware of what they are trying to say.
Try to think before responding to the person you are caregiving. Don’t speak when you’re angry or upset. Silence is effective. Take time to think before starting a potentially difficult conversation. Practice patience. You may also want to develop an appropriate speaking style and body language. How you speak is just as important as what you say. Maintain eye contact and try to be positive and brief.
If you want to have positive communication with the people you are caregiving, then give them your attention. Leave your cell phone somewhere else, respect the person you are caregiving. Give them your undivided attention. They will respect you a little more and communication can be easier. You may even want to ask them for THEIR advice. Making them feel like they matter can open the communication lines.
Finally listen to what they are saying. You don’t always know what is best. Just because they are old doesn’t mean they don’t have something valuable to say. Give them the respect. It is difficult for them as well and remember that positive communication it is important that both parties have to feel that they have benefited from the outcome.
Please feel free to call and visit Rosa’s Chante to see if we can help you care for your loved one.