12 Jul 2018

Three Common Mistakes When Talking with the Elderly Clients

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to connect better with the elderly clients than others? Naturally, we all differ in how we connect with one another, but there is a common thread in those who connect with the elderly better than others. Here I am sharing with you three common mistakes which can easily be fixed.

Mistake #1 - presuming that we know exactly what the elderly person is going through

Although we may have the best intention we can inadvertently assume that just because someone is going through a certain situation, illness or change of circumstance that we know exactly how they feel. This is a common mistake! No two people are alike and how they respond to circumstances can vary greatly. So, instead of saying "I know how you feel", let the person tell you how they are feeling and open up to them and say "how do you feel about X". 

Mistake #2 - being afraid to bring up a certain topic

We may be afraid to bring up the recent passing of a loved one, selling the family home or giving up driving. But, those aspect of someone's life are very important to them. So, instead of making small chat about the weather or current affairs do not be afraid to say something like "what was your favourite road trip/memory in your house/memory with a loved one". Research has shown that reminiscing about the past can boost one's wellbeing, their ability to cope and instantly boost self-esteem. 

Mistake #3 - blurred professional lines

Sometimes we may connect with the elderly person so well that we forget that we are in a professional role. This can result in becoming too involved with the client, sharing a lot about our personal life or the client sharing a lot more with you than with other workers. This may become a problem at the end of the day as we may have difficulty switching off. While it is important to be fully mentally, emotionally and physically present when supporting the elderly clients it is as important to be able to switch off. Connecting with others who work in the same field and practicing self-care can be very beneficial. We have a great community on Facebook and perhaps you too should join right here


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