For seniors in live-in care situations, communication style can make all the difference in their comfort and outlook on life. Careful communication protects the relationship between the elderly and their caregivers, and happier seniors are often more cooperative in their day-to-day care and routines.
Request vs. Demand
Older adults, especially those undergoing dementia-related care, are often viewed as child-like. However, they are still adults and expect to be treated as such. A simple way to improve communication is to ask rather than demand. “Would you like to wear the green or the blue shirt today?” is more respectful than saying, “Put on this green shirt.”
Use “I” Statements
Along with offering choices, using “I” statements like, “I can help you with that,” are often more effective than “you” statements like, “You can’t do that alone.” Elders in live-in care situations need to maintain a sense of control over some aspect of their lives.
Patience and Seeking Help
Finally, remember that seniors in live-in care situations may face physical, mental, and emotional challenges that are as difficult for them as they are for the care provider. A 24-hour care service may provide necessary respite for caregivers while ensuring that senior loved ones receive the help and support they need.