Do you know different languages? The majority of Americans speak one language: English. Many countries throughout the rest of the world have a tendency to be fluent in more than their native tongue. What about senior care? Are you fluent in this language?
If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you’re not alone. There are many aspects to senior care services that the elderly require, from the types of services that they may need to the emotional support, to much more. If you don’t understand the things that they are saying, even when they don’t use words, then you could be missing some opportunities to support them in the best manner possible.
When we think about ‘language,’ we tend to think about words. Yet there are so many ways that we communicate with someone, even on the phone. Think about the last time you spoke to someone on the phone. Was it a flat, monotone conversation? Or were there inflections? What about that last in-person conversation you had. The eyes, hands, and even the space between you two tell volumes. Posture does too.
When someone requires care, especially an individual who spent most of his or her life caring for themselves and maybe even others, it can be difficult to ask for or accept help. This could mean that even the individual who has senior home services visiting with them on a regular basis simply doesn’t know the best way to communicate his or her needs.
And that’s where you, as the senior care provider, need to hone your language skills.
Being quiet and detached is often a sign of depression.
Being angry is often a sign of frustration, not with the caregiver but with themselves.
Mentioning things that they used to do could be the patient telling you what they would like to try, if possible.
Sharing memories helps them relive their past years to keep themselves fresh and vigorous here and now. Ignoring their desire to show pictures, movies, or more could potentially cause them to be more depressed.
Placing their arms or hands, or sitting differently, could indicate that they are experiencing pain, but don’t want to mention it.
Being embarrassed about accidents is normal, but the way it’s brought up could tell you a great deal about the challenge they face, especially if they can’t articulate it.
When you’re more fluent in the language of senior care, you’ll be more in tune with what the elderly individual needs and that can have a significant impact on the quality of their life.
The caregivers at Home Care Matters are available to talk with you and your family about all of your elder care needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable senior care in Buford, GA and the surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.