Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ten things we should remember when talking to a senior!

  1. You are beautiful! I love you!
  2. I care about you, that is why... especially when it comes to senior drivers, for example.
  3. Tell me what you have learned. Instead of "you need to" or "you should", ask 'What are you thinking about this situation?'
  4. I respect your choices.
  5. Allow them to make decisions with all the facts, and ensure they have the facts from a trusted healthcare provider.
  6. Respect senior's choices and actions in terms of behaviour, socialising, nutrition, habits, or getting out of the house or staying in. If they have lived this long, you cannot micromanage them according to your ideals and values.
  7. As with disabled children, encourage seniors to do as much as they can, safely.
  8. Be proactive, act as a friend, confidante; not doctor or nurse.
  9. Be honest and frugal with your opinions, so long as they are being safe.
  10. Reflect on what seniors can achieve, not on what they are unable to do.

It is true that often there is much disrespect on the part of adult children. They can be bossy. PSWs, nurses and doctors, can be rude and condescending. They can try to scare seniors into doing certain things they do not want to do. They can threaten seniors with placement in long-term care if they "don't do X, Y or Z."
This is intolerable.
This article is horribly negative and I wanted to turn it all around. What CAN we do!

Health conversations with seniors can be tricky. Knowing the right words to choose and the best tone to take can make all the difference.

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