Healthy communication is an essential part of any relationship – but it can be tricky. This is especially true in relationships between aging parents and their adult children. There are often important decisions to make and needs to consider, and emotions can run extremely high. To help make difficult conversations easier while maintaining close family bonds, we’re offering a few tips on how to communicate with aging parents.
The first step in easing communication is ensuring that everyone can hear and understand one another! Older adults may not want to admit that they’re having trouble hearing or following conversations. If you think your loved one may not be hearing well, try slowing down, speaking more loudly and enunciating more clearly. Make sure not to shout or speak condescendingly, though.
All of us want to be heard. This is especially true for older adults who feel as if they are losing autonomy. When talking to an aging parent, really listen to what they are saying. Don’t interrupt or add your own opinions.
Wait To Be Asked
It can be difficult for an older adult to accept the parent-child role reversal that can happen in a caregiving relationship. The parent might begin to resent their child “taking over” and making decisions they don’t agree with. Some of this is inevitable, but try not to offer advice or opinions until your parent asks for them. Offer understanding, encouragement and support instead.
Communicate in the Right Environment
When you need to have an important or difficult conversation, move to a quiet, private setting with minimal distractions. Ensure that the older adult is seated where he or she is best able to hear and understand the discussion.
We hope these tips help you more easily communicate with your parent or loved one. Our programs, such as adult day care and assisted living, can make caregiving less stressful. Contact us to learn more.
Martin Luther Care Center is part of the Ebenezer family of Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care, long term care, assisted living apartments, and memory care for seniors in Bloomington, Minnesota. We also have adult day programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St., in Bloomington, MN.
Are you or a loved one interested in learning more about assisted living care? Call Amy at 952-948-5167 or more information and to schedule a tour today.
2/10/2021 02:08:28 pm
Thanks for the advice to listen actively to our parents and avoid interrupting to ask questions. My sister and I were talking on the phone last night and agreed it's time to pursue a home care service for our aging father for peace of mind. I was feeling a bit nervous about talking to him before reading your article, so your advice should be really helpful for me to keep in mind during the conversation.
8/17/2022 02:24:16 am
I really appreciate you talking about how to communicate with the elderly better. This way, I can feel a lot closer to my parents and properly talk to them about sensitive topics like retirement communities without them being irritated. I'll definitely try these kinds of tips so I can finally approach my mother and father about finding a retirement community in the area.
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Director of Community Relations
Hello friends, my name is Kate and I'd love to share with you ALL of the wonderful things happening at Martin Luther Campus. Be sure to check our Blog, Lifestyle page and Facebook page often to stay updated on the happenings at our community!