If you ask your typical 30-year-old about the biggest problems with growing old, you’ll get answers about arthritis, physical infirmity, and memory issues. Maybe wandering or vision issues. But one facet of life those who care for the elderly know is a huge problem is: communication.
As we age, simple acts of communication become more and more difficult. Some of this is technological; young people adopt newer methods of communication that older folk have trouble adapting. But much of it is also neurological. The very act of initiating communication can become difficult, sometimes even borderline traumatic. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some seniors lose their verbal filter and will over-communicate, sharing inappropriate or sensitive info with the wrong people.
Be the initiator – As a family member or caregiver, you often have to be the ones
Give them the proper tools – If you can keep a landline phone active for them, try to do so. It may be an added expense, but it tends to be much easier for elders or dementia sufferers than a cell phone is. Our own SiMPL photoDIAL senior phone is a great example of a tool you can use to facilitate communication with them. If you have to get them a cell phone, spend some time customizing the phone to make it as easy and obvious to operate as possible. Create contact icons for the most common calls they’ll make. Remove home page icons for any app they don’t really need. Disable automatic updates, but remember to run them manually when you visit.
Analog is good – We are all guilty of this at times, but sometimes just a pen and paper are the best possible tools. Tech is fine, but notes, lists, and schedules written out longhand are wonderful communication aides which should be employed frequently.
Brought to you by smpltec.com, Technology for Seniors News.