We all get older, it’s a fact of life. This can affect your communication with your loved ones are they age. It becomes increasingly important to openly communicate about their physical and mental health. It’s also important they can have a conversation with someone about any challenges they face.
Difficulties with communication can make these conversations difficult to have. This makes it harder to help the person.
Whether it’s your parents, grandparents or another older relative, it may be the roles are reversed. Sometimes the person who supported you will now need your support. It may be difficult to face these changes within your family, but there are ways to make communication easier.
No one knows your loved one better than yourself, so you know how best to talk to them. However, if you are struggling we’ve put together some tips and advice on how to get the ball rolling.
Speak distinctly in conversation
Your older loved one might not want to admit they are hard of hearing, or having trouble understanding what the surrounding conversation is. Making sure you enunciate and avoid mumbling can help. It also helps to slow down how fast you talk. If you need to speak louder, do so, but make sure you’re not shouting. Remaining calm and not getting frustrated if they’re struggling to hear you can really help.
Don’t be condescending
It can be difficult not to come across as condescending if you’re speaking louder and slowing down your speech. Even if your loved one suffers from dementia or extreme hearing loss, it’s important not to talk to them like a child.
Choose the right environment for your conversation
Don’t have an in-depth conversation with the TV blaring in the background, or when there’s lots of activity going on. Face the person you’re talking to so they can see your facial expressions and read your lips if they need to. When you’re talking in a group, making sure your loved one isn’t sat on the outskirts will help to pull them into the conversation.
Involve them in decisions
A lot of older people feel like their freedom of choice is taken away from them. We sometimes decide for them without asking them first.
Asking their opinion on different matters can make the person feel more included, and like their opinion matters. Give your loved one the opportunity to ask questions and communicate any worries they may have. This also gives you the opportunity to see if they’ve fully understood the conversation.
Ask for help
If you’re really struggling to talk to your loved one, there is no shame in asking for help. Whether you turn to a family member or even a professional, there will be someone who can help you.
If you’d like to get in touch with us about our care packages, please contact us clicking here.