5 Tips To Communicate With Elderly People

June 17th, 2013

1. Be aware of the environment your communicating in. Look at the surroundings, are you communicating in a noisy area with lots of distractions or people around? Its best if you can move to an area with less noise as many elderly people speak softer and have difficulty hearing as well.

2. Make eye contact and speak clearly. It’s very important to look them in the eye and to pronounce your words clearly. This doesn’t mean you have to annunciate your words where its obvious your doing it. That will only give them the impression that you are talking down to them. Instead, speak clearly and maintain good eye contact throughout the conversation so they know you are someone who is interested and trustworthy.

3. Use audio or visual aids. If an elderly person has difficulty hearing or seeing, visual or audio aids can help. Sometimes I would simply point to certain objects to provide the ‘bridge’ so they could understand what I was referring to or what I was trying to say.

4. Be aware of the person’s health issues. If an elderly person has a health issue its important to understand what they are, what symptoms and concerns they might have, and what type of assistance they might need as a result of those health issues.

5. Ask precise questions. Its important to ask clear and specific questions to elderly people in order to understand the specific information that you are asking. General questions often lead to more general answers and can also confuse them.