Switching from the role of child to caregiver can be difficult for family members, especially when it comes to the way you communicate with one another. Below is a list of tips for how to communicate effectively with your elderly parent.
1. Don’t be Condescending
Sometimes when parents are hard of hearing, slowing down your speech and speaking louder is the natural thing to do. Make sure that your efforts for being heard don’t sound condescending. You may also want to refrain from talking to your parent as if they were a child, even if they do have dementia or extreme hearing loss.
2. Speak Clearly
Admitting you are hard of hearing or unable to hear altogether can be difficult for some adults. Some older adults have trouble hearing the higher pitch in a female voice. If your voice is naturally high pitched, make a conscious effort to lower the tone when around your elderly parents.
3. Don’t Offer Advice Unless Asked
Role reversal can be difficult to accept for some elderly relatives. They have spent their whole lives offering advice to you and your siblings, hearing advice from their children can be a hard pill to swallow. Giving advice is best avoided unless asked. If there is a something you must convey to your parent, consider having an outside party deliver the information.
Take the time to listen to your elderly parent. Pay close attention to what the person is saying to you without interrupting. For your elderly parent, being heard can be an incredibly important thing. Make sure you take the time to actively listen to what your elderly parent is saying to you.
5. Find an Accommodating Environment
As you age, it can get harder to isolate individual sounds. When talking to your elderly parents consider the environment where you are speaking. Is the television or radio on in the background? If you are in a group, make sure to place your elderly parent in the middle so they can hear the whole conversation.
At Mount Carmel Assisted Living, we strive to provide your loved ones with exceptional care. Our facilities are specially designed to help care for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s. For more information on our facilities, benefits or amenities, give us a call at (770) 824-3385.