Luther Jenkins III
How to Communicate with Older Adults
In today’s society, I see the lack of the younger generation not showing or giving older adults the respect that they deserve. When I was growing up, it was mandatory to show courteous, dignity and respect to those who were older. I have a problem with all of the cases where I have seen a totally different attitude from the younger generation than how I was raised. This may be due to miscommunication with older adults in today’s society. If you are among those that think this shoe may fit, wear it and know that one day you will become like that. In communicating with older adults, the younger generation should be aware of the person’s health issues, their environment, being on medications or just in the need for companionship are effective ways in helping to communicate with the older adult. Whether you are visiting a grandparent or you are a social worker who deals with older adults from time to time, age related health problem can present a barrier to effective communication. There are techniques you can use to help facilitate interaction with older adults to create a communication-friendly environment. Older adults may have health problems that add difficulty to speaking and understanding. Be sure you consider the person’s health “before” you engage in communication. Be attentive to and evaluate the environment when you are communicating with older adults. Older adults might have a hearing and speech problems, and if so try to move to a more peaceful and quiet location. Speak clearly and articulately, and make eye contact. Learn to adapt your voice to their needs. Treat the individual with respect by articulating and speaking at a comfortable volume that is suitable for both of you. Use direct questions: “Did you have soup for lunch?” “Did you have salad for lunch?” instead of: “What did you have for lunch?” The more precise you are in your language, the less difficulty the...
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