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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

    communicate elderly02

      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

            communicate elderly07

              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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                1 What Is Life About? 9 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life 2 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside 3 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 4 10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life 5 10 Powerful Ways to Be More Confident

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                Last Updated on August 10, 2020

                10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

                10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

                Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

                If you’re ready to do what you want in life, then the 10 principles of success are what you need to follow.

                You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

                Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

                You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

                Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

                1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

                If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

                Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

                When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

                Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

                So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

                Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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                2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

                Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

                Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

                • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
                • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
                • Answer a few Superpower Questions

                Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

                3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

                Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

                The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

                You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

                Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

                Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

                4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

                The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

                Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

                To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

                This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

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                5. Embrace Your Inner Self

                Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

                Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

                • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
                • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
                • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

                The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

                Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

                6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

                I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

                To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

                Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

                A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

                Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

                Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

                7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

                Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

                Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

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                What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

                Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

                8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

                Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

                Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

                What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

                These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

                9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

                Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

                This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

                Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

                “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

                10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

                Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

                Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

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                You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

                You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

                Final Thoughts

                Eleanor Roosevelt said,

                “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

                Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

                By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

                If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

                This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

                Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

                More About Success in Life

                Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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