Creating an Environment for Better Communication-
On a day to day basis, communicating with your aging loved one can be a challenge. From hearing deficits to dementia, conversations can be distorted creating barriers to effective communication. Here are some tips to help combat these challenges:
-Ensure that your loved one has their hearing aids and glasses on. As simple as this may be, sometimes we forget to check such an obvious barrier. This will allow for you to be heard and body language and expression to be seen.
- Approach the person from the front. Talking from the side or behind can scare the person or make it difficult for them to hear you.
- Limit noise and distractions. Turn down the TV, put your cell phone on silent, and find a quiet place to talk. Although we are used to multi-taking and can tune out everyday noise, this isn’t always the case for our loved one.
-Use body language and unspoken communication such as pointing or gesturing to help guide the conversation. Visual cues are also a good tool to help clarify what you are saying or asking.
-Use simple words and sentences; complicated instructions or lengthy stories can get “lost in translation”.
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