Communicating effectively with a loved one is important.
Understanding and being understood makes the day so much easier. Good communication efforts can lead to more positive relationships and deeper connections with others.
Here are 10 positive approaches to communicating with an older loved one.
- Speak clear, not overly loud. When someone is hard of hearing use suitable volume for their situation.
- Turn down or turn off background noise such as TV’s, radios, etc… Many noises provide a distraction and blend in with what you might be trying to say.
- Use gestures when appropriate. You could point to things using hand gestures. Remember that our body language and posture conveys what we are feeling. Be aware of such body language as putting hands on hips or folding arms out in front which may be conveyed as frustration or anger.
- Use short sentences if needed or just use words.
- Share a laugh with someone or give a compliment. This is a positive way to start off your communication. Tell a joke or point out something beautiful. Give smiles often.
- Watch your use of facial expressions and make eye contact. Likewise watch their facial expressions and eye contact. Facial expressions reveal more than we realize.
- If a loved one is visually impaired use their other stronger senses to communicate such as hearing, sense of touch, smell, taste. Likewise, if another sense is impaired use their stronger senses to connect with them.
- Share an interest in something. Get off on the right foot by sharing an interest in something. Do you both like pets, fishing, baking, or movies? Talk about that. Find something in common.
- Talk in a tone of voice that is pleasant, calm, and respectful. Listen to a loved one’s words, as well, with understanding and acceptance.
- Use aids such as glasses, magnifying glasses, hearing aids, pocket talkers, and other assistive devices as needed and prescribed by their doctor.