Senior adults need social interaction now more then ever. It can be challenging sometimes to come up with new things to talk about, especially if you are experiencing quarantine or isolation due to the pandemic. Here ae some tips from griswoldhomecare.com for intentional, healthy conversations with seniors:
- Connection: It is important to give your full attention when talking to a senior adult, so be encouraged to put away the cell phone and let them speak freely without being interrupted. Be reflective as they speak to gain a better understanding of what they are talking about and avoid jumping around to multiple topics, as this can be a challenge for seniors to follow.
- Be prepared with a variety of topics: Ask about their past, such as a favorite childhood memory, important life lessons they have learned, or what they like to do for fun when they were younger. Ask about their favorite things, such as tv shows, movies, music, etc. or about a new skill or game they would like to learn.
- Focus on the positive: Inquire about their proudest accomplishments and how their major life experiences shaped the person they became. A great question is: what lessons would you like to pass on to future generations?
- Things to avoid: Try not to give unwanted advice, and instead be supportive and encouraging without being directive. Senior adults have the right to self-determination, so remember to always provide choices, especially to those who have limited independence. You should avoid using jargon that is condescending regarding their age. Also, be mindful of the pitch of your voice (no baby talk) and the volume, just because they ask you to repeat something doesn’t mean they didn’t hear you, they may need to process the information again.