Communication Tips from Caregivers in Los Angeles

October 1, 2013
Caregivers Los Angeles Talking Tips

Caregivers in Los Angeles Give Advice for Talking with Seniors

A common frustration among family members of seniors is difficulty in communication. It used to be so easy to talk with your parents about any subject at all, but now it seems like you can’t even make it through a conversation without misunderstandings, tedious repetition, and lack of mutual interests. Don’t lose hope: you can still have meaningful, rewarding communication with your loved ones; it just takes some adjustment to the way we conduct conversations. Here are some pointers from caregivers in Los Angeles:

Patience and Forbearance

One of the main mistakes people make when talking to seniors—especially those in various stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease—is trying to correct their faulty memories and impressions of the world. A senior might remember a trip as occurring last week, when it was actually three years ago. There’s little profit in turning the conversation into an argument simply to get your parent to agree on the dates of a trip in the past! We understand this, but it’s sometimes hard to remember it in when we are in the middle of a conversation. “Letting things go” is an important skill when seeking to keep conversations with seniors pleasant.

Choosing a Subject

For better or worse, most of the topics that occupy you and your family are not particularly interesting to the seniors in your family. Of course, they love hearing about the achievements of their children and grandchildren, but forgive them if they don’t seem interested in the latest technology developments, sports scores, or the hottest current TV series. For a good start to a conversation, focus on what the other person might find interesting.  Invite them to tell you a good story from their past, or just ask them what they have learned recently.

More Tips From Eldercare in Los Angeles

The people you communicate with most of the day are probably close to you in age, profession, and interests. When you speak with a senior, be aware of the fact that they in a very different demographic. Think of “changing gears,” and pay close attention to the senior’s response to the conversation. If you sense disinterest or frustration, don’t keep rambling on! Look for common ground; professionals in eldercare in Los Angeles always find that there’s more than you think.

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