5 Ways to Enhance Communication with a Stubborn Senior

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How to Enhance Communication with a Stubborn Senior in Denver, CO

Older adults sometimes develop strong opinions that can come out during daily conversations. Stubbornness can also be linked to underlying health conditions such as diabetes. While it can be challenging to communicate with an aging loved one who is being difficult, you can use these strategies to make things easier.

1. Project a Sense of Calm

Your emotional reaction influences your loved one’s behavior. Although it may be challenging, it’s best to avoid raising your voice and showing other signs of losing your temper. Instead, use your regular voice and demonstrate a relaxed posture. Your loved one will pick up on your calm attitude and be less likely to try to escalate the situation.

Trained caregivers with experience in communicating with all types of seniors can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Denver senior care 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.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Your loved one may have a valid reason for being so difficult, but it might take some detective work to figure it out. For example, your loved one may be refusing to get dressed to go to the doctor because he or she is scared of getting test results. Alternatively, your loved one may not want to have someone clean his or her room because he or she is afraid a cherished heirloom will be broken. Asking open-ended questions gets your loved one talking about why he or she feels the way he or she does. Once you figure out the real issue, you can then address it.

3. Try Rephrasing Your Points

It’s possible you could be having a real communication breakdown. Perhaps your loved one misheard what you said or didn’t understand certain words. This is most common with people who have dementia and other disorders that affect cognitive abilities. Try rephrasing your request using simpler language that might help your loved one understand what you really mean.

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 Denver 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. 

4. Use Distractions

Your parent may get stuck on an idea when you’re ready to move on. For example, your loved one may continue to insist he or she wants to go out when it’s not safe to do so. This type of stubborn behavior can be averted by getting your loved one involved with a different activity. Activities that keep the mind occupied work best for correcting this issue, so bring out the puzzles or ask your loved one to pick out a book to read together. You can also get your loved one interested in a more positive topic by asking him or her to share a story from the past or talk about a favorite hobby.

5. Know When to Let Your Loved One Win

There’s also something to be said for knowing when to pick your battles. Some things just aren’t serious enough to argue about. For instance, it might be okay to let your loved one stay in his or her pajamas for a few extra hours if he or she is clean and getting dressed is distressing. If you can’t let your loved one win, try offering two options. Your loved one will feel like he or she has a choice, and you’ll be more likely to get him or her to go along with what must be done.

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 professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (720) 443-3371.


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