Communication with seniors with dementia, cognitive impairment, or even hearing loss can be challenging and requires special consideration of potential limitations. This is even more true during Covid when so many people are communicating with seniors through face masks. Face masks distort speech, confuse seniors with dementia, and be a disaster for seniors who rely on lip-reading. Therefore, the person communicating with the senior must speak loudly and clearly.
While working in Assisted Living in Dallas TX and speaking with local audiologists, we have learned that the physical barrier of wearing a mask changes the sound waves reaching your ear. Higher pitches are also not able to make it through the material. The result is that you begin losing clarity with certain consonants such as ‘f,’ ‘s,’ ‘sh,’ ‘th,’ which end up carrying the weight in the clarity of the words we hear.
One of the things we advise our staff is to ask follow-up questions. Follow through with the listener to make sure they understand the content and context of your message. Many people even nod or smile even if they don’t understand everything. You can help by following up with written communication when possible. If you are struggling to understand what a person is saying to you, ask them to repeat it or even rephrase it.
As in all cases, when communicating with seniors, it’s best if you speak face to face that all distractions (such as televisions) are limited, and eye contact is maintained throughout. A gentle touch is often welcome, as are helpful hand gestures. Whether the senior is in a Dallas assisted living facility, residential assisted living homes, residential care homes, or at home with a caregiver, it’s best to limit ambient noises when speaking to a senior. It is also important to approach from in front of them and not behind, which can be off-putting or downright frightening. Even with at-home caregiving, where caregivers provide in-home care, it is good to find a quiet spot to talk without television or other distractions.
Active Communication: How Manchester Place Care Assisted Living in Dallas tX Can Help
At Manchester Place Care Assisted Living in Dallas, all our caregivers and staff are trained to communicate with the elderly most effectively. Assisted living options in Dallas, Texas, can vary significantly, from institutional nursing homes to more intimate, home-like residential care.
Residential care homes vary in size but generally accommodate eight people or less, either in shared rooms or individual suites. Residential care homes in Dallas, Texas, can also vary in quality and resident care. Manchester Place Care Homes are large, purpose-built homes with private rooms and large, ADA-compliant ensuite bathrooms in every room and industry-low resident to caregiver ratios (4 to 1). And for Manchester, the care of its residents, both physical and mental, is priority one. A lower staff ratio to residents makes one-to-one communication easier and in line with each individual’s needs.
We recognize that the elderly may have limitations when it comes to effective communication. We are committed to meeting our resident’s and clients’ needs where they are, both in terms of cognitive function and hearing loss. Our caregivers are trained to analyze each person’s limitations and stage of cognitive decline and utilize measures to ensure effective communication, avoiding conflict at all costs. Effective communication is key to mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation.
When it comes to residential assisted living care homes in Dallas, TX, you can’t do better than Manchester Place. We, and our expert caregivers and staff, look forward to showing you the Manchester difference. Check out our FAQ if you have any questions, or feel free to call Brian Levy with any questions.