How to Communicate with the Elderly without Stress

How to Communicate with the Elderly without Stress

Do you have a loved one who finds it harder and harder to communicate as they age? Like it is a struggle to let them understand what you are trying to convey? Even if you have the best of intentions, it seems like every time you try, it's a total disaster. Which can lead to frustration and feelings of isolation on the part of your elderly loved one and yourself.

You're not alone. Many families are struggling with this very issue. But don't worry, the following tips prove to be effective in connecting to our elderly with patience and effective strategies in place, it can be a much smoother process. Keeping an open mind can help make the lives of elderly loved ones a little bit easier.


Here are a few tips on how to improve communication with the elderly:

1. Full Attention:

Elderly want to feel that you have spent quality time with them and that they are important. Researchers recommend that if you give undivided attention in the first 60 seconds, you can “create the impression that a meaningful amount of time was spent with them.


2. Be aware of your body language: 

Smiles, eye contact, and an open posture can make a big difference in how the conversation goes. Avoid crossing your arms or rolling your eyes, as this can send the wrong message. 


3. Use short, simple sentences:

This will help the elderly person understand what you're saying and make it easier for them to respond. It's vital to ensure that your instructions are simple to comprehend. This will help guarantee that they understand what you're saying and can follow your orders effectively.


4. Try to avoid speaking in absolutes:

This means using words like "always" or "never." Instead, use phrases such as "in most cases" or "usually." This will help to ensure that they understand what you are saying and can respond accordingly.


5. Make sure you speak in a pleasant tone, clearly and loudly:

Older people often learn more slowly than younger people. As a result, the speed with which you provide information may have a significant impact on how much your older patients can comprehend, retain, and commit to memory. Speak clearly and loudly enough for them to hear you, but avoid shouting.


6. Allow extra time for the elderly: 

Listen more than you speak. It's vital to really hear what the elderly are saying and respond in a way that shows you understand. Be patient. Don't rush the conversation or try to finish the person's sentences. Allow them the time they need to communicate. Stick to one topic at a time. The elderly can get confused if they are given too much information. Try to avoid giving it to them at once.


7. Respect their independence: 

Many older adults value their independence and autonomy, so try not to speak for them or make decisions on their behalf without asking first.


8. Provide fun activity: 

Interactive activities like arts and crafts, music, or even just talking about their day-to-day lives can help older adults feel more connected and engaged.


In addition to these tips, it's also important to be respectful and considerate of the elderly person's feelings and experiences. By doing so, you'll help make their life a little bit easier for you.

One potential obstacle that can impede effective communication with the elderly is if they become agitated or upset.

If this happens, it's important to try to remain calm and understanding. It may also be helpful to offer reassurance and comfort. Address the factor that causes it. 

At times, incontinence can be a significant problem for many elderly people.

When this happens, it can be frustrating and embarrassing for them, leading to increased agitation and anger. 


In order to help ease the situation, caregivers/families should:

At Caring Clothing we have an extensive range of incontinence aids that covers all areas of daily life: bedding, chairs & floor equipment, underwear, and swimwear that could help and maintain the dignity of the elderly.

Shop the range here.