Nov 18, 2016 by Lulu Jensen
As we grow older, we experience various physical and mental changes. Some of these changes, including memory impairment, the decline of cognitive skills, and the development of health problems, can affect other areas of a person’s life. Communication with loved ones is often the first to suffer.
If your relationship with your parent is not what it used to be, caregivers in Anchorage, AK, can help both you and your loved one approach these challenges in a healthy, constructive way, which can drastically improve family communication as a result.
Although trying to communicate a message to an aging parent can sometimes be difficult, it is important to remember that older adults may not be able to communicate as effectively as they used to when they were younger. Some seniors do not want to admit that their communication skills have begun to deteriorate, which can deepen the communication gap between them and their families.
Caregivers in Anchorage, AK, recommend approaching the topic with empathy and patience. Your loved one may be embarrassed to tell you that, for instance, they have hearing loss. Seniors with dementia may not be aware that there’s a problem in communication. There are a wide range of illnesses and impairments that could contribute to communication issues.
Whether a health problem is causing communication difficulties with your parent or not, experienced caregivers in Anchorage, AK, suggest that you try to adopt a different communication strategy and see if there is an improvement. Keep in mind that there is no instant solution to communication problems and that they most likely won’t disappear overnight.
On the other hand, communication issues typically evolve over time, which means that they haven’t developed overnight. They can be hard to recognize too, which can only worsen communication and lead to numerous arguments and misunderstandings. Seniors might start to think that family members do not care about their opinion anymore. Family members might conclude that their loved one is not paying attention to them. Consequently, everyone involved may begin to withdraw in themselves, trying to ignore the situation until it escalates into an argument.
To prevent this from happening and to improve communication with your loved one, caregivers in Anchorage, AK, may suggest speaking slower than normal, using shorter sentences with simple words, and avoid talking about topics that are unfamiliar to your parent. Moreover, eliminating all distractions such as turning off the TV or radio can help. In addition to encouraging your loved one to share their opinion with you, it can also be a good idea to limit the number of questions you ask them at once. You can also consider starting the conversation with a cheerful topic before moving on to a more serious topic.
If you continue experiencing communication difficulties with your parent despite using these strategies, you can always ask professional caregivers and home care experts to provide you with additional advice on communication with seniors.
Comfort Keepers provides in home care and senior care services for the following communities in Alaska: Abbott Loop, Airport Heights, Anchorage, Bayshore, Bear Valley, Big Lake, Birchwood, Bootleggers Cove, Butte, Campbell Park, Chugiak, Eagle River, Eklutna Valley, Fairview, Geneva Woods, Girdwood, Glen Alps, Government Hill, Hatcher Pass, Hillside, Indian, Kincaid, Matanuska-Susinita Valley, Midtown, Muldoon, Northeast, Oceanview, Palmer, Potter Valley, Rabbit Creek, Rogers Park, Sand Lake, South Addition, South Fork, Spenard, Stuckagain, Sutton, Turnagain Arm, Turnagain, Wasilla, and Willow, AK