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Communication Challenges with Seniors: Plus How to Break Them


Clear communication is an essential element in providing care. We know that from our years of providing health care services in Riverside, California. However, when attending to aging loved ones, communication can become challenging.

In this post, let us share with you how aging makes it challenging for effective communication to take place and some helpful tips to manage or address them:

  • The aging years cause declining hearing
    It’s a biological reality that the elderly people already accept. For this reason, when you have to communicate with your aging family member, you have to remove distractions in place. Turn off the TV; close the door, or be in a location where there’s nothing to distract them from you. Removing distraction is especially ideal for patients with dementia as this can help them to really pay attention and digest what you say.
  • The aging person has difficulty in focusing
    Due to their declining sight, it can be difficult for them to look at the person they’re talking to clearly. When this happens, they might not be able to truly pay attention, thus, compromising communication. When this is the case, sit in front of your loved one so that they can look at you face-to-face. The idea of face-to-face communication is that you can get to see how your loved one reacts to what you say, thus, assuring you if they have captured your message.
  • The aging person may have difficulty in speaking
    The senior person can also go through the natural decline of their vocal abilities, making their voice sound rough or whispery. Some patients also suffer from a stroke due to their age and physical condition, and this results to speaking problems. When this happens to your aging loved one, ensure that you give them time to respond to you. Their response, whether verbal or non-verbal, can give you the assurance that they have understood your message. In cases that they need professional speech or physical therapy in California, we can recommend licensed therapists to assist them at home.
  • The aging years can cause memory problems
    When talking to an elderly person, memory issues may arise in the conversation. They may have difficulty remembering events, people, or places. These memory problems can affect the clarity of communication. When your aging loved one has memory issues, try to speak to them in simple words and sentences. Making your words simple can help them to stick to what you’re discussing and not be strayed by forgetfulness.

As the primary caregiver, if you’re facing communication difficulties with your senior loved one, remember to exercise patience and respect at all times. Regardless of their condition, they deserve to be accorded with a dignified response, and this kind of attention can help you understand their message, even if it needs for you to read between the lines.

If you need assistance for your aging parent, our team at Total Care Home Health Agency and Hospice Care is ready to assist you.

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