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Communication Tips for You and Your Elderly Loved One

By: Lenora Alabi

If you are helping to care for an elderly loved one, communication can often be tough. Many elderly adults, especially those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, find communication difficult. They may have a tough time holding down a long conversation. However, there are some tips on how to improve your communication with an elderly loved one. These are tips that both you and your loved one’s elderly care providers should use. 

Using Open-Ended Questions

The first tip for communicating with your elderly loved one is to use open-ended questions. These types of questions get your loved one to explain what is going on. For instance, if they are refusing to take one of their medications, if you ask them an open-ended question, you might find out that this specific medication is causing them terrible side effects. With open-ended questions, you can find out more about your loved one, so that you can better take care of them. 

Showing Empathy

Another tip for communicating with your elderly loved one is showing empathy. Your elderly loved one might feel like they are losing who they are or losing their independence because they now have elderly care providers. It is important that you try empathizing with your loved one and their situation. By doing so, they will see that you understand what they are going through and be more apt to communicate with you.

Get Help from Others

If your elderly loved one won’t quite open up to you, think about others who they might talk to. For instance, if they have been seeing the same doctor for years, they might be more willing to open up to them about what is going on. They might want an outside third-party to talk to such as an elderly care provider. Your elderly loved one might be looking for a perspective that is unbiased. 

Small Steps

Unless it seems as if your elderly loved one is in a dangerous situation, you should take your time talking to them. Taking small steps might be able to help you accomplish a lot more. For instance, if your loved one won’t have long conversations with you about how they are feeling, take a small step. Get them to have a 5-minute conversation with you first. Then, you can slowly get them to open up more. 

These are some of the tips for better communication with your elderly loved one. If you use these tips, your loved one might open up to you more.

Sources
https://www.aafp.org/fpm/2006/0900/p73.html

IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN GOLD COAST, IL FOR AN AGING LOVED ONE, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE CHICAGO. CALL TODAY: 312.382.8888.