Bridging the Communication Gap

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

May 20, 2016

Home Care in Fox Chapel PA

Communication can often be a struggle under the best of circumstances. But what about when a parent or other loved one falls into a situation where they need family caregiving, especially if they Home-Care-in-Fox-Chapel-PAare suffering from Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia? That can really cause major communication problems. But there are ways to lessen some of those challenges by doing a few simple things, perhaps changing some of your approaches, and being respectful and patient.

  • Recognize that physical, emotional and mental changes for your loved one are going to impact the effectiveness of communication—sometimes the manner in which you communicate altogether, depending on their condition or ailment. Once you recognize that, you can seek out resources from their doctors, support groups, and other organizations on how to best deal with communication in that regard.
  • If hearing loss is an issue, look into the possibility of hearing aids or some other assistive-hearing device to make their ability to hear better. If memory loss is an issue, seek out whatever services you can to help in this area. Above all, practice patience.
  • Make the time necessary to truly talk. Instead of popping in for a few minutes each day, or making a quick phone call just to check in, spend some time truly sitting and visiting with your family member.
  • Make sure you truly listen to what they’re saying. Even if something may not seem importance or appear to be too relevant for you, it’s obviously important to them—either just to be heard, or it could refer to some underlying concern of theirs that needs addressing. Either way, you can’t go wrong to pay attention when they speak.
  • Allow them to reminisce. As people age they lose their independence, their ability to do certain things, and their friends and loved ones. So clinging to memories of happier times is something that may be very important for them to do. Allow them the respect to hold into those memories and let them share them with you. You might be surprised to learn some new things about your loved one you never before knew.
  • Ask them open-ended questions about their past that will allow them to talk freely about their life. Again, what you learn could be fascinating. And what a wonderful way to help their legacy live on, as you share those stories with your own children or other family members.

By understanding, respecting and appreciating what your loved one has gone and is going through, it will hopefully better prepare you to communicate with and help them as their caregiver. That, in turn, will help them enjoy their senior years a little more, and give you each better bonding experiences to remember and cherish, even as you yourself enter the sunset of your own life.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Fox Hill, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551