Aspects of Communication with Reference to Elderly Client Group Assessment Answer
Assessment 3: Individual written report
It is essential for the professionals of the industry to understand the needs of the elderly clients. While the professionals may be proficient in the communication principles and yet there may be some skills for the communication to become effective with the elderly (Adebayo, Durey & Slack-Smith, 2017). The present report discusses about the overall aspects of communication with special reference to the elderly client group.
2.0 Communication barriers in working with the elderly
The most frequent and recurring barriers for communication with the elderly includes:
- Hearing and vision loss: It is very common among the elderly to have an issue with hearing and vision that can become a barrier and prevent the participation of the elderly in the care. This may also result in the withdrawal of the elderly from society and make a dent in the confidence of the person. Thus effective communication with the elderly is prevented if the person is visually and auditory impaired.
- Speech Impairment: The inability of the elderly to speak properly due to several reasons such as paralysis, accidents or others may lead to speech impairment that may become a barrier in the communication of the elderly. Due to these alternate modes of communication should be deployed to avoid any breakdown of the communication channel.
- Cognitive Impairments: The impairment of the elderly to remember and recollect events can result in cognitive impairments. The impairments may mean that communication is ineffective due to the cognitive impairments. The cognitive impairments may also mean that the elderly people feel uncomfortable to talk or express themselves and the channel of communication becomes redundant.
- Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Communities: The cultural difference between the culturally diverse professional and elderly may lead to contextual differences in the principles and nuances of communication. So, the communication is ineffective as well as the differences in the linguistic may also mean that the pronunciation of the elderly may be slurry and the listener cannot understand it. These differences are also more pronounced in the elderly due to their age and become a barrier to communication.
3.0 Communication skills required for effectively communicating with the elderly
The communication skills that are required to effectively converse with the elderly are as follows:
- The elderly people must be encouraged by the professionals to use hearing aids or spectacles to help them with visual and auditory impairment (Ross et al. 2018). Hence, the skills of managing the elderly with patience and care are required by the professionals.
- The changing needs and moods of the elderly should also be considered by the professionals to effectively generate a route of communication (Xiao et al. 2018). The patients should also be addressed with their names and not others such as dear, love for effective communication.
- The professionals should not expect any response from the elderly. This should also be verbally and non-verbally made clear to the person that it is entirely their discretion to answer or respond to any questions from the professionals.
- It is also expected of the professionals to reassure the elderly about the acceptance of their physical conditions as well as any shortcomings. This would also help them to overcome the deficiencies and communicate effectively.
- It should also be noted by the professional that the verbal and non-verbal antiques should not contradict each other. This would send a mixed message to the elderly and cause confusion and communication breakdown.
- Alternate modes of communication should be deployed in case of elderly with cognitive disabilities and the full attention of the professional should be given to the elderly (Phillipson, Low & Dreyfus, 2019). The main aim of the person should be to create a proficient means to engage with the elderly and help them to express themselves efficiently.
- The professionals should also be educated about the cultures and linguistic differences to bridge communication differences and help establish a common ground for communication. It is essentially necessary to revert back to the same note and keep the voices low.
4.0 Applicable resources that may assist in communication with the elderly
The communication channels and the ability of the professionals to communicate with the elderly can be boosted with the help of accompanying resources. The responsibility for the choice of resources is also on the professionals themselves. The application of the resources to overcome the communication barriers are as follows:
- The MCCDs can be deployed for assistance for the elderly of the country so that the communication can be aided. The communication ability of the elderly may change depending upon the physical conditions of the person as well as present situational factors that may play a part. This resource can be utilized by the professional for helping them as well as helping the elderly to communicate effectively.
- The use of intervention such as documentation of the entire process of communication can also benefit the professionals as well help to keep a tab on the conversations. Since elder people with dementia or Alzheimer may forget some things and the thread of conversation would be lost. The documentation process helps to keep a record that can be referred to at a later stage for a continued conversation.
- The use of hearing aids or spectacles can help the elderly in hearing and seeing things clearly and communication is also facilitated with it (Gillespie, Mullan & Harrison, 2019). Communication is a combination of visual and auditory inputs that can be assisted with the help of such resources.
- The speech therapy and tasks that enhance the cognitive skills of the elderly may also help in communication as the word recollection is necessary for speech and communication (Swan et al. 2018). The skills also help in overcoming the confidence of the elderly and help them to express themselves in society. These tasks can be used as an important resource for communication.
5.0 Case study or personal experience about communication with an elder
While I was working as a nurse in an old age care home, I had to deal with a lot of elderly people and communicate with them on a regular basis. While most of them were able to at least communicate themselves in a variety of ways, there was one person with whom I faced the most difficulty. The problem was that the person had a serious case of paralysis and was unable to move or talk clearly. I had difficulty in understanding what he was saying and often made mistakes such as giving him a spoon instead of soup that embarrassed him further. He was cocooned in himself and was not talking much to others or me over time. This created a problem in my care for the person as I was unable to understand any issues or problems that he might be facing and I was in constant fear of compromising his health and safety due to it. I continuously urged him to communicate and express by participation in the activities such as word recollection games and others to improve his speech. I also took it upon myself to establish a relationship with the patient so that he becomes comfortable and can speak freely when required. This event also taught the importance of learning cultural and linguistic differences of the elderly to understand the fluency and changes of the spoken communication to understand the nuances and use this knowledge for communicating and conversing in the same tongue (O'Toole, 2020). I also learned upon the communication interventions that can be utilized for a better communication channel and establish a framework that helps for designing the communication processes.
Finally, it can be concluded that communication play an essential for dealing the elderly group and ensuring that they get best care. Effective communication skills and appropriate resources smoothen out the process of communication. Furthermore, the case study showed the significance of effective communication framework for offering proper care to elderly client group.