Keep The Conversation Going: Better Communication With Elderly Relatives

October 12, 2020

woman standing near person in wheelchair near green grass field

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It can be hard to keep a conversation going when barriers like deafness and memory problems come into the mix. A lot of elderly people experience conditions that make it hard for them to talk like they used to, making it extremely difficult for their loved ones to reach out. Of course, though, this doesn’t mean that the older people in your family don’t want to talk; they just need some help to be able to do it properly. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the work that can be done to improve a situation like this, enabling the conversation to flow.

Memory Problems

Memory problems are possibly the hardest to deal with when you’re approaching something like this. Most conditions that cause this kind of memory loss aren’t reversible, though you can work to slow them using things like special exercises and a good diet. Rather than fixing the memory issue, you can start to build cues that are designed to help your loved one when they are talking to you. Simple things, like having the time, date, and day of the week visible can do an awful lot to keep someone in the here and now. You can find loads of memory-joggings ideas like this with a little bit of research.

Hearing Problems

Hearing problems can also be a little challenging to deal with but are much easier than solving the issue of a bad memory. This sort of condition is usually the result of something physical. Cilia hairs get pushed down by loud noises, bones get damaged and moved over time, and wax can build-up, all working to damage a person’s hearing and making it hard for them to communicate. Hearing aids can solve many of these problems, though it’s usually worth visiting an audiologist to learn more about the treatments that are available for hearing loss. A small change can make it much easier to talk to your loved ones.

Speech Problems

Speech is another area that needs to be carefully worked on when someone is struggling with it. There is an array of different conditions that can all impact someone’s speech, with strokes being a prime example. Speech therapy can help with this, training a person to talk with limited tools, though it can also help if you do some learning. Building an understanding of lip-reading can be a great way to keep conversations going with someone who has speech problems. This means that they won’t have to think about adapting the way they talk, and you won’t feel compelled to raise your voice to talk back.

Getting to grips with talking to an elderly person can be difficult. There are a lot of issues that can get in the way of the conversations you want to have, but you can often work through these hurdles and improve the way you speak to each other. This can be an excellent way to make someone’s life more meaningful, especially when they used to love talking.

*contributed post*

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