Effective Communication with Seniors Leads to Better Engagement

Healthcare professionals should engage older patients in conversations that encourage discussion and actively listening to what they have to say. This is according to a recent column focusing on effective communication with seniors.

“Caregivers need to talk ‘with’ their older patients and involve them in conversations, which also includes actually listening to what they are saying, and not talk ‘to’ them in a patronizing and undignified way,” said Judah Gutwein, LNHA, Director of Corporate Marketing and Business Development at Regency Post Acute, Rehab and Nursing Centers in New Jersey.

Gutwein says there are four elements of communication that caregivers should adhere to:

  1. Acknowledge and validate that older patients are intelligent and proud members of society who contribute to all areas of life and have wisdom to share.
  2. Be aware of who you are speaking to and how they communicate. Patients often have diverse backgrounds and cultural experience. Understanding these nuances can help in communicating with a patient.
  3. Be inclusive and engaging when talking with older patients. This will encourage them to be a part of the conversation in return.
  4. Be mindful of your tone and inflection so that it does not appear that you are “talking down” to older patients.

Read more: http://www.mcknights.com/guest-columns/effective-communication-with-seniors/article/475449/

atom Alliance oversees an advisory council to bring the voice of the patient and family caregiver into our quality improvement initiatives. Do you have patients who might wish to serve on this new council? We are currently recruiting people with Medicare and family caregivers in Kentucky and Tennessee. For more information and an application, visit http://atomalliance.org/atom-advisors/