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Communicating with Your Care Receiver

Although we often feel we have to more faster, sometimes the answer is to slow down.

Sometimes, as caregivers, it is hard to communicate when we feel we can’t get a word in edgewise. Although we typically jump to memory problems when someone seems to be repeating things a lot, that is not always the case. Sometimes, they might just be bored or lonely. Most of the time, our care receivers just need to feel heard and validated.

To effectively communicate, it is just as important to listen as it is to speak. Often, we listen to reply rather than listen to understand. By listening to understand what our care receiver is saying, we are better able to recognize their needs. Feelings, both emotional and physical, are often held just under the surface. By being patient, whether you follow their conversation or redirect it, you are more likely to get to the source of behaviors and actions.

Remember, as we age, we just can’t process information like we used to, so it might take a little more time to effectively communicate. When that happens, it is important to stay calm. Your care receiver will pick up on your frustration, even if not your words are kind. This will likely lead them to get frustrated or agitated and even less able to communicate.

Caregiving is not about speed. Quality is usually preferred by a care receiver over quantity. Learn to plan extra time for simple conversations. Value and celebrate discussions instead of considering them tasks to mark off your to do list.

Contact us to learn more about resources to support caregivers.

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