At times it can be challenging to talk to an elderly person. Before trying to come up with any interesting topics to discuss, you should learn how to communicate with the senior population. Here are some pointers.
- Give them your undivided attention and allow them to speak without interruption and at their own pace. Be patient.
- To avoid confusion, stick to one topic at a time.
- Converse in a quiet area with no surrounding noise as hearing for the elderly can be a challenge in itself.
- Agree to disagree. Try to compromise and choose your battles.
- When speaking with an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient, don’t ask questions that they will not be able to answer due to memory impairment.
Once you understand the “how to” then you would be ready to figure out a discussion topic. It’s all about finding a topic of interest to engage the listener.
If possible, you can ask about their childhood memories. How has technology changed for the better? Ask about their favorite things such as type of movie or music. What are their accomplishments that they are most proud of? The topics are endless. Use your best judgement and make the conversations positive.
Always remember that our elderly population has had plenty of experiences that you can benefit and learn as well.
Middlebury Convalescent Home is available for any questions related to our senior population. Feel free to call us at 203-758-2471.