As your elderly family member’s life and health start to change, you may find that there are a lot of different pieces of life that don’t work the same for her as they once did. Communication might be one of those areas. She may be getting frustrated with communication, and you might be, too.
Start Using Visual Cues More Often
There are so many reasons that your aging family member’s ability to communicate changes. Many of those can connect with how well she can hear, how her brain processes audio input, and how well she’s able to formulate a reply. Even if neither you or your elderly family member have experience with sign language, you can start using visual cues to communicate and that may be easier at times. If you’re both game to try, learning some basic ASL signs might be a helpful idea, too.
Practice Pausing When You Need a Response
You might be used to getting responses quickly from your senior and from other people you’re communicating with, but that’s something else that might be changing. You may need to start practicing a small pause when you’re looking for a response. That short beat that you take can give your senior the time that she needs to process what you’ve said and formulate her response. Being just that little bit more patient can help your elderly family member to feel less frustrated by communication.
Start Breaking Bigger Topics and Tasks into Smaller Ones
Because the brain does change with age, you may start to find that your elderly family member isn’t processing information in the same ways that she did in the past. One of the things you can do to help with that is to start giving her smaller chunks of information than you have been. Breaking down big sets of instructions, tasks, or topics into smaller ones allows her to process what’s happening. It’s similar to giving her that pause.
Learn from Folks Who Have Been Doing This for a While
It’s a lot easier to learn these new methods of communicating when someone can model them for you. Working with elderly care providers gives you a chance to watch someone who has done this sort of thing for a while and learn from what they do. As you experience more success, it becomes easier and you and your senior both will experience less frustration.
Communicating with your senior doesn’t have to be difficult or upsetting for either of you.
If you or someone you know needs help with elderly care in Jenison, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.
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