“Tips for Communicating with Seniors:
Seniors crave social connection as much as the rest of us. Unfortunately, sometimes they are less able to verbalize their feelings as well as they used to or are self-conscious about slower speech or reduced memory. Some extra effort may be needed to strike up a conversation with them. It’s important to try not to treat them differently. Realize that they have had rich experiences, which you can tap into and learn from during your time with them. Your honest and loving curiosity about their lives will both help to trigger memories for them as well as provide a natural path for conversation.
Planning for a Visit If you know ahead of time that you’ll be visiting a senior, consider bringing something to do or talk about that might help trigger memories for them. A few ideas include: ∞ A family photo album ∞ Music from when the person was young ∞ A simple craft project or puzzle ∞ A homemade goodie If they have access to a kitchen and used to enjoy cooking, bring ingredients for a meal or snack you can enjoy making and eating together. This might spark conversations about favorite foods, cooking techniques, or recipes.
Avoid Talking Down Do not use baby talk, a singsong voice, or inappropriately familiar terms of endearment. Talk to them as you would any other adult. Many seniors feel insulted when people talk to them as if they are children, even if those people don’t mean any harm”
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