Ways to Communicate Effectively with a Difficult Older Parent

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How Can I Communicate with My Difficult Older Parent in Orlando, FL

Talking to your senior loved one may not always be easy. Some seniors become difficult out of a desire to protect their pride. Your loved one might not want to be told what to do by his or her adult children and other members of the family. Seniors might also become stubborn when faced with health challenges that change how they think and feel each day. These communication tricks can help you get past any difficulties your loved one throws your way.

Pose Requests as Questions

A simple request can feel like a command to a sensitive senior. Instead of telling your loved one what to do, try posing it as a question that offers some degree of choice. For instance, you could ask your loved one if he or she wants to wear a blue or red shirt that day. Your loved one will be so busy making a decision he or she might not even realize he or she is going along with one of your requests.

Trained caregivers with experience in communicating with all types of seniors can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Orlando home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Engage Your Loved One’s Sense of Humor

Starting off a conversation with laughter primes your loved one to be more receptive to what you have to say. Try sharing a funny joke you read that morning or do something silly to get his or her attention. Once you have your loved one smiling, you can then go into what you need to talk about. Keep in mind that joking around needs to be done respectfully and with sensitivity for your loved one’s sense of humor. Saying something that triggers his or her insecurities or pet peeves may backfire.

Avoid Seeming Like You’re Shouting

You might need to talk louder to a senior with hearing loss. Yet this can easily seem like you’re yelling at your loved one when you’re tackling a tough topic. Try shutting out all forms of background noise and facing your loved one. Being able to talk in a lower tone of voice can keep things calmer.

Professional caregivers with training and expertise in elder care can often identify the sources of seniors’ communication issues and respond effectively and compassionately. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Windermere live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. 

Pick Your Battles

There are some things that are nonnegotiable. Your loved one may need to take medication at a certain time or accept the need to have a bath. However, there are other things that matter less. If your loved one insists on eating a certain food for breakfast, this might be fine in moderation if you can provide the nutrition he or she needs later. It may be more important to sometimes let your loved one have his or her way so you can get him or her to do other things that matter more.

Involve a Neutral Party

Some of the difficulty may lie in your loved one’s deep-rooted need to feel a sense of control. There may also be some past relationship challenges that are interfering with communication. A professional caregiver, doctor, or clergy member could be someone your loved one views as an authority figure. If your loved one refuses to listen to something important you have to share, consider getting one of these people to talk to him or her. Your parent may be willing to listen to someone else.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (407) 232-7155.

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