The summer months mean a lot of wonderful get-togethers. We attend weddings, family celebrations, reunions, time at cabins, vacations, BBQ’s, etc. Tracy Visits would like to share a few suggestions/tips on helping make conversation time, with our elderly loved one’s gratifying, memorable, enjoyable and less stressful.
- Listen with your ears, eyes and compassionate heart. BE PATIENT.
- Make eye contact; sit at their level and focus on their words. Put away your cell phone. Avoid anything that will distract from the conversation. Speak slow.
- Be patient and wait for them to answer questions. Sometimes it takes a few moments for them to process and think about the question and their answer. Don’t get frustrated when events, dates or stories aren’t remembered. Try not to correct them. Be patient and remember; correct dates or how events happened….. isn’t critical. Stick to one topic at a time.
- Respect and love no matter where they are mentally or physically. The aging process with the ailments and physical limitations that go along with this are not asked for. Being sympathetic helps reduce the anxiety that goes along with these limitations. Speak louder if they are hearing impaired; but don’t shout.
- Be patient when hearing stories you may have already heard. We tell the same stories many times because they bring joy. Retelling funny and happy memories is wonderful for everybody; no matter the age. Let them share their joyful experiences!
- Remind them what a pleasure it is to spend time with them. Tell them you enjoy their stories and insight. Give them a hug, but be gentle as arthritis in shoulders and arms can be painful.