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7 Common Mistakes We Make When We Try To Communicate With Elderly

7 Common Mistakes We Make When We Try To Communicate With Elderly

Communicating with the elderly may seem like an easy, ordinary task, but somehow many of us fail to communicate effectively with our parents and grandparents. Why? Due to a number of common mistakes and generally because we don’t pay attention enough to modify the message in an elderly-friendly way.

These are the most common mistakes we make when we try to communicate with elderly in our daily lives and how to fix them.

We treat them differently just because they’re old

communicate elderly

    Aging comes with some disabilities or unfortunate issues, but not all elderly people are deaf, suffer from dementia or lose their vocabulary all of a sudden. Moreover, most seniors are actually improving their language skills, so there is no reason to speak loud to them.

    Another thing we often do when we try to communicate with elderly is talking to the other persons in the room about them, like they are already dead. This is highly annoying and can be seen as an insult. And speaking of insults, people who modulate their voices to high pitches and baby-like sounds are also insulting the seniors.

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    Bottom all, just use your normal, regular toned voice when you speak to your grandma: if she does ask you to repeat something, probably she just lost a word in the sentence or she is not aware what a “selfie” is.

     We don’t adapt to the issues they have

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      As I’ve stated before, aging does have some disadvantages and one of them is that adjustment periods will become longer. If if takes you a couple of days to get accustomed to the sudden hot weather, the seniors in the family may need a couple of weeks. To make sure you are able to communicate with the elderly in an efficient manner, just pay more attention to the changes that come along and alter your message accordingly. For example, if you talk covering your mouth, your grandma will most likely ask you to repeat, because her brain reacts longer to the fact she can’t read your lips (which we all do while we chat).

      To understand better how a senior feels about the world around you can do a simple experiment on your own, in order to communicate with elderly efficiently. Put on gloves, tie your shoe laces between them, put on ear plugs and tie a transparent scarf on your face. Now try to do all the daily chores around the house – this is how an elderly person may feel daily.

       We forget they are people we can learn from

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      communicate elderly03

        There is a strong reason why the ancient cultures cherished their elders and made them shamans: they are wise. And they can teach you many things, even if using the Google glasses will not be one of them. In order to communicate with the elderly you must stop and listen to them from time to time. They have 40+ more years lived and more things happened to them. And they’ve survived them all, so they may give you valuable tips on how to pull yourself together after your boyfriend cheated on you or how to start over after you’ve lost all your belongings. They’ve been there, done that.

        We forgot they still have a sexuality

        old couple

          This one is tricky: we all know that hormones are leading our sexual desires, so it is only logic that when they are gone, so are the desires. But is not that easy, as the elderly have their own sexual desires and may even be able to fullfil them. To communicate with the elderly you must always remember they are still humans, only slightly more experienced. Combine this with the previous point and you have your own personal love coach in your grandmother, as we tend to inherit the sexual attraction features and most likely look for the same physical features in our partner. If grandma had a thing for blue-eyed guys, you will probably have it too, so you can talk about it with her.

           We fall in the generation gap trap

          communicate elderly06

            Stereotypes are nasty things and the fact most people fall into them is even nastier, so don’t be one of them. When you communicate with elderly you are just talking to another human, so you need to let aside all the generation gap misconceptions and start fresh. Never assume a senior cannot understand you just because he is older: sometimes older generation faced exactly the same issues, as the social environment is the same deep down. So just be clear and open when you want to communicate with elderly. For example, the fact your grandmother grew up in a time when being a single mother was shameful doesn’t mean she actually considered it to be like that. Maybe she was just as open-minded as you are today about raising a child without a father.

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            We are not patient

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              Patience is very important when you try to communicate with elderly, as their movements are slower than yours and they will take more time to understand your message. As the language itself is changing really fast these days, you might need to explain what OMG means or other language hacks. Again, patience is essential. If you ask an older person to remember something from his early days, you also need to wait a couple more minutes, as memory is not as sharp in the elderly.

              As body language remains a constant in life, elders do understand it just as well as young adults, so being impatient and showing this will just upset the person and impair the attempt to communicate with elderly.

                We forget to treat them with respect

              elderly communication alan alda

                Being respectful is the most important thing in relationships and because we ought to acknowledge that an older person is wiser, showing the respect while we try to communicate with elderly is critical. One of the most common mistakes we make is to give advice to elders and patronize them. Like us, they hate it. Unlike us, they are not that impulsive and don’t react as sudden as we do. Being respectful is one of the keys in effective communication at any age, so do apply it when you try to communicate with elderly. Respecting radical or different opinions is also a way to show respect, so if your grandma tries to share with you her feelings and life experience, just listen to what she has to say.

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                All the above rules are general and as all individuals are different, you need to adjust your message to the particular person. Another tip on how to communicate with elderly is gambling it all on value: don’t treat an older person in a different manner just because he/she is old – exchange ideas, treat them just like you like others to treat you and you will have a lots of benefits from effective elderly communication.

                 

                Featured photo credit: Elderly People – sign on Warwick Road, Olton via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on July 18, 2019

                What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

                What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

                Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

                They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

                It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

                1. They Manage Their Expectations

                They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

                2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

                Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

                3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

                Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

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                4. They’re Not Materialistic

                There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

                5. They Don’t Dwell

                They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

                6. They Care About Themselves First

                They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

                They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

                7. They Enjoy the Little Things

                They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

                8. They Can Adapt

                They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

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                9. They Experiment

                They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

                10. They Take Their Time

                They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

                11. They Employ Different Perspectives

                They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

                12. They Seek to Learn

                Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

                13. They Always Have a Plan

                They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

                14. They Give Respect to Get It

                They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

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                15. They Consider Every Opportunity

                They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

                16. They Always Seek to Improve

                Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

                17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

                They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

                18. They Live in the Moment

                They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

                You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

                19. They Say Yes

                Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

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                20. They’re Self-Aware

                Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

                We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

                Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

                Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

                Final Thoughts

                The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

                For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

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                Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

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