High living standards and improved healthcare have extended the average life expectancy in many countries. Today, if you look around, you’ll observe seniors representing an increasingly larger chunk of the overall population.
It takes a great deal of empathy and communication skills to have healthy and successful relationships with your seniors. Especially, when they take help from words to express their inner feelings, you have to be considerate enough to focus on the intentions rather than just words. Below you will find 5 interesting things the elderly say that we often misinterpret:
One of the basic needs of many old-aged people is to feel important and respected. We’ve heard old parents and grandparents complaining about how their children and grandchildren command them to do certain things. With just a few changes in your way of communication, you can make seniors in your home feel happy and respected.
For example, instead of telling your parents that they’ll be having salad for dinner, you may respectfully ask, would you like to have rice or salad for dinner today?
There is nothing wrong if you ask for permission instead of assuming different things yourself. For example, always ask for preferred choices before going shopping especially if you’re planning to buy something for the older adult. Ask about their favorite colors and materials. Similarly, never turn off the lights in your parents or grandparent’s room without seeking permission. These simple yet extremely impactful gestures will make your loved ones feel more valued and important.
This coming from someone who has worked his or her entire life for your success and glory can be somewhat surprising. It’s not because your parents or grandparents want you to sit at home and do nothing, but it simply means they’re missing your company.
If you’re not living with your parents, make sure to take some time out from your busy schedule to call them daily. Also, make sure to visit your loved ones often as your presence, even if it’s for a shorter span of time, will make them feel overwhelmed and happy.
The rules of effective communication clearly states that older adults usually don’t act positively in response if they feel like they’re being controlled. Avoid using bossy language as much as possible. Also, use ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ to make the other person feel special and respected.
While it may sound offensive, coming from your loved one is just an indication that he is missing his favorite food. It obviously makes sense if you take your parents’ health very seriously and try to keep a strict check on their diet and exercise schedule. But, it’s perfectly okay to give your loved ones an opportunity to enjoy their favorite food once in a while if they’re really craving for it.
With these small yet significant changes in your communication and lifestyle, you can make an older adult in your family feel more valued and cherished than ever before.