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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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                Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

                How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

                How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

                Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

                That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

                Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

                1. Write Your Goals

                The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

                Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

                As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

                Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

                2. Beat Procrastination

                Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

                Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

                Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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                What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

                When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

                3. Celebrate Small Wins

                In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

                Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

                It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

                So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

                4. Practice Gratitude

                It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

                Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

                So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

                60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

                By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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                5. Be Optimistic

                Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

                At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

                Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

                6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

                A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

                Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

                What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

                So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

                10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

                7. Face your Fears

                You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

                If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

                Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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                Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

                How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

                Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

                8. Visualize your Success

                You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

                One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

                Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

                9. Find Inspiration

                Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

                From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

                Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

                Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

                10. Enjoy Downtime

                You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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                Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

                You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

                11. Meditate Regularly

                Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

                Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

                Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

                The Bottom Line

                Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

                However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

                So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

                More Tips About Staying Motivated

                Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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