Communicating with your elderly loved one is extremely important. It can help improve the quality of their life, make them see that people are still there for them, and offer many other benefits, as well. The problem is that, with many elderly people, communication can become difficult. For instance, those who have dementia or other health conditions might have a difficult time with verbal communication. In instances like these, you and elderly care providers might have to find ways to use non-verbal communication.
If you are trying to communicate with your elderly loved one, you can pay attention to your personal appearance. It is important to wear things that your elderly loved one is familiar with. For instance, if there is a perfume or cologne that you have always worn around your elderly loved one, keep wearing that. This can help them to see that you are the person they know. You are there for them.
Approach Them from the Front
If you are trying to communicate with your elderly loved one, it is important that you approach them from the front. They will not only feel like you are respecting them if you do this, but they will also be less scared. Many elderly people get spooked when they are being approached from the back. They often get scared that someone is trying to attack or hurt them.
Pay Attention to Eye Contact and Body Language
If your elderly loved one has dementia, they might not be able to understand verbal communication. However, they might still be able to focus on your eyes and body language. If you move suddenly, for instance, this could cause them distress. If they get distressed, they might find it even more difficult to communicate. It is also important that you respect your elderly loved one’s personal space. With that being said, you can still get down to their eye level when talking to or communicating with them. By doing this, you are showing them you respect their space by being on their level. You are also using eye contact, so your elderly loved one can see more of your expression.
Using Facial Expressions
When communicating with many elderly people, using facial expressions is more important than ever before. If your face looks tense, you are going to make your elderly loved one think you are distressed. This could cause them to feel the same. However, if you are smiling and being expressive with your eyes, they are more likely to communicate with you.
If your elderly loved one doesn’t like to be touched, don’t do it. Make sure their elderly care providers know not to touch them, if this is the case, as well. However, if touch doesn’t bother your elderly loved one, physical touch such as a hand on their shoulder, could show them you are trying to help.
These are some of the ways that you can use non-verbal communication with your elderly loved one. Sometimes elderly people can’t communicate well verbally. However, they can often understand non-verbal communication.
If you or someone you know needs help with elderly care in Cascade, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.