Communicating with the Elderly: Some Useful Tips

I’d like to share with you some useful tips on communicating with the elderly.  More tips can be found at the following website. In addition to the tips, the authors give useful advice on communicating with:

  • hearing-impaired older adults
  • aphasic older adults
  • vision-impaired older adults
  • confused or disoriented older adults

Some suggestions when communicating with the elderly are:

  • do not be condescending, speak in a tone of voice appropriate for communicating with an adult
  • do not speak more loudly than normal, but do emphasize key words
  • give the older person time to respond in conversations. Be comfortable with silence

Many older people have great stories to tell.  Each person has their own unique history, story, and life experience. Ask questions about sports, hobbies, school, work, travel, family, pets etc.

Often times I ask my Dad questions about his childhood and he seems to enjoy sharing little tidbits of his life with me, or perhaps he’ll sing a song or a jingle from a product that was popular back then.  Also, older people are great at quoting poetry or lines from Shakespeare because they had to memorize a lot in school.

Speaking for myself, I love to hear stories about past times… maybe you do too.

Calm Pond

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