How you have conversations with your elderly loved one can be as important as what you talk about. As her family caregiver, you can start employing some of these tips right away.
Gain Your Loved One’s Attention First
If you don’t have your loved one’s attention, it’s going to be difficult to carry on a conversation with her. Some easy ways to gain her attention include gently touching her on the hand, catching her eye, and making sure that she can hear you. You may even need to use a combination of these in order to be sure you have her attention.
Use Your Loved One’s Name
Personalize the conversation by using your loved one’s name a little more often. This can help to anchor your loved one and keep her attention, especially if her attention is prone to wandering. Many elderly loved ones don’t hear their given names very often.
Keep the Conversation Simple
Using lots of pronouns or nicknames for people or items can be confusing for your elderly loved one. So instead of referring to a book as “it,” use the word “book.” Also, try to stay away from asking your loved one questions with open answers if your loved one has difficulty with those types of answers.
Give Your Loved One Clear Choices
When you do give your loved one choices, make sure that they’re distinct choices instead of open ones. For example, instead of asking your loved one if she’d like to have lunch, ask her if she’d like choice A or choice B for lunch. You’re more likely to get an answer that you can work with if you give her a closed choice.
Revisit the Conversation if Your Loved One Is Tired or Otherwise Not Receptive
If you know that your loved one is tired or otherwise not up for any type of conversation, it’s better to revisit the idea of having a conversation until later. There’s no reason to try to force a situation that your loved one isn’t up for.
As you learn more about your loved one’s communication needs you can customize these tips to work well in your particular situation.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Montgomery, OH, please contact the caring staff at Queen City Elder Care today. Serving Cincinnati and Surrounding Communities. Call Us Today (513) 510-4410.
Michele Vollmer is a visionary leader who is perpetually searching for ways to improve, so to remain at the leading edge of the home care industry.She has served in the healthcare industry since 1989, including pharmaceutical and home health sales, as well as hospice sales and sales management.