Talking with your elderly loved one usually goes better if you have her full attention. As her family caregiver, you may find that more difficult at some points than at others. It can help if you develop a series of tools that you can use in correlation with each other.
Make Eye Contact and Smile
Making eye contact with your elderly loved one and smiling can warm her up immediately and is a great way for you to initiate a conversation. You can also use this in combination with other methods to help your loved one focus on what you're about to say to her.
Gently Touch Your Loved One
A gentle touch on your loved one's arm, back, or knee can help to anchor her in the here and now. It is also likely to cause your loved one to turn to face you, at which point a smile and some eye contact can go the rest of the way toward making a connection.
Use Your Loved One's Name
Many elderly loved ones don't hear their own names much anymore. You may use nicknames or other monikers for them. Using your loved one's name can very quickly gain her attention. Make sure to speak gently and to use a positive tone when saying your loved one's name. You don't want her to ever associate her name with negativity from you.
If there's a lot of noise or other distractions in the room, that can cause your loved one to have difficulty focusing on what you're trying to say to her. Do what you can to reduce or completely eliminate those distractions so that your loved one has less trouble with the conversation.
Give Your Loved One Your Full Attention
You're counting on your loved one giving you her full attention, so it's important to give her your full attention, too. If you're doing anything else, it's a good idea to stop and devote all of your attention to her until you're done. She'll feel more important and you won't miss any important details from her.
As you become used to new ways of communicating with your elderly loved one, these habits will help.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN NATICK, MA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS TODAY. CALL NOW (508) 545-0164.