With masks mandatory in public indoor spaces having our faces covered can make communication with others tricky. Add to that the fact that seniors are suffering from Alzheimer’s, hearing loss, or cognitive impairment, and you have a recipe for challenging times requiring special consideration for these limitations. Even the smallest things, such as “How is your day going,” can be challenging.
The question then becomes, what can caregivers and families alike do to communicate with family and elder care workers more easily in Dallas?
Masks promote safety, but not communication
One of the things you may not always notice is body language. Even moving eyebrows up or down can indicate a question. Nonverbal cues such as nodding and hand gestures can also help get the point across. The point is to stop and think about how you communicate today, even without a mask, and think about exaggerating those things when speaking to an older adult.
Face masks have the unfortunate side effect of distorting your speech and can compound hearing issues and those seniors who rely heavily on lip-reading. Therefore, the person communicating with the older person must annunciate clearly and loudly. Slow down, increase your voice volume, and even lower the tone a bit. (Higher pitched voices can be harder to understand).
As with all cases, young or old, it is best if you speak face to face. Physical distancing can make sound quieter since sound levels go down with distance. Get closer, if you can, as long as you are not violating social distancing guidelines. This will make it easier to hear you and allow people to see those visual cues, like facial expressions.
We also recommend turning off the television, radio, or other distractions that may limit the tones that can be heard or cause distractions. Focus your attention on other sounds in the environment, such as chirping birds or pots clanging in the kitchen that may be distracting. You may have drowned them out yourself, and in some cases, these may be unavoidable. Move to another room if needed and maintain eye contact throughout. Even with home-based elder care in Dallas, it is not a bad idea to find a quiet location to talk without distraction.
Write down essential items that you want them to remember and ask for confirmation about whether they understood the information you are telling them. If you are talking with a new person, ask if there’s anything you can do to make communication easier for both of you.
About Cambridge Caregivers for Elder Care Support in Dallas
If you are looking for elder care in Dallas, the Cambridge Caregivers team is trained on how to communicate with the elderly most effectively. As opposed to institutional nursing homes, home-based-care is a more intimate form of care where the trained caregiver visits the home of the person in need and provides any level of support required, from simple tasks to full health and meal prep support.
Cambridge Caregivers is a personal care provider tasked with assisting individuals and families in the Dallas area with their non-medical needs in an in-home environment. Our employees are carefully selected and screened to provide the best level of care possible and have broad training in areas that include advanced needs for clients with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and pre-op/post-op care requirements. Our compassionate team of professionals is extremely sensitive to each individual’s needs, whether your loved ones require just a few hours a week of care or around-the-clock care.
As effective communicators, we recognize that the elderly may have limitations and work with the individual’s needs both in cognitive function and hearing loss. Our elder care team is trained to analyze each person’s cognitive situation and limitations and utilize measures to avoid conflict. Through effective communication and mutual understanding, we strive to be the best option for your loved one. We, and our expert caregivers and staff, look forward to showing you the Cambridge difference. Check out our frequently asked questions page or call our team with any questions.