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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 September 17, 2019

                10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

                10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

                Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

                But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

                Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

                1. Spend Time with Positive People

                If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

                Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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                2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

                When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

                Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

                3. Contribute to the Community

                One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

                Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

                4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

                Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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                Some recommendations for you:

                5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

                You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

                If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

                There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

                6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

                It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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                Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

                7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

                Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

                For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

                Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

                8. Offer Compliments to Others

                Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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                9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

                If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

                Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

                10. Practice Self-Care

                Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

                Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

                Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

                More About Staying Positive

                Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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