How to Communicate Effectively with Senior Care Residents

How to Communicate Effectively with Senior Care Residents – Top Tips for Assisted Living Services

Communication has and will remain an important aspect of assisted living communities and any healthcare setting for that matter. It serves as one of the main foundations that glue the community together. 

Of course, that’s not to say that there are no developments occurring on a more individual scale as well. Ultimately, learning how to effectively communicate with your residents only enriches you and your relationships with them. We’ve taken the liberty to outline a couple of the best tips that all assisted living services would benefit a lot from adopting. 

Always exercise patience:

We at Lantern Lifestyle would more than likely never attain the reputation and feedback we’re enjoying if we didn’t value patience. Patience paves the way to perseverance and fuels our conviction. Our therapeutic programs would not have served as birthing grounds for wonderful success stories if we lacked this quality.

It’s safe to say that most seniors would be turned off if you rush through any kind of conversation. Their preferred paces may vary, but there’s almost always an overwhelming preference to not be rushed, to take things slow. You can practice better patience by:

  • Exercising discipline to not jump from one topic to another. 
  • Refraining from bombarding residents with a slew of questions. 
  • Taking the time to listen to what they have to say as a reply to your queries. 
  • Being observant of their body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions as they communicate with you.

Don’t hesitate to ask them whether they’re following what you’re saying or not. It’s not so much a slight as a show of courtesy, after all. 

Consistency and regularity can pay off over time:

This is especially true when communicating to your residents, current and prospective, through social media. Nowadays, communication is rarely limited within the community or facility alone, after all. This is especially true now when there are still palpable social restrictions in place due to the pandemic. 

If you can communicate daily, make social media posts that resonate with your residents, do it. Some of the best ways you can go about this are by doing these steps regularly, if not daily:

  • Post educational and engaging content that would be valuable not only to your residents but their respective families as well.
  • If you can engage the locality, then don’t have doubts about it. As long as you keep your posts meaningful to them, you’ll be able to push your brand awareness endeavors.
  • Be active in responding to comments. Of course, this takes viewing your social channels regularly.
  • As you respond to their concerns or queries, always be prepared to listen. Practicing social listening only nurtures the trust that your community needs.
  • Speaking of trust, it’s also important to be aware of the tone that you’re using when sending your messages. As much as possible, aim to highlight your genuine concern and empathy.

Rely on the conveniences readily offered by technology:

When maintaining effective communication throughout the community, always keep your doors open to technology. Mass communication is just as important as individual-to-individual communication, after all. 

There are technological solutions now that will allow quick and convenient community-wide messaging. These communications systems aren’t just limited to making announcements but are also concerned with emergency alerts and notifications. 

Most of the time, it’s better to opt for a mix of general and specific approaches when planning what you’re going to communicate to all the residents. You could, for example, answer the following questions. They are more than likely already going through your residents’ minds during specific times of the day:

  • What’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on this specific day?
  • Is bingo night happening today?
  • Are there notable therapeutic activities that I can take part in this afternoon?
  • I wonder what the weather’s like tomorrow?
  • Who is the staff currently on duty?

Think of anything else that you know will be pertinent to your residents and answer them through the communications system you have in place. 

Always take their age and conditions into consideration:

There’s a reason why people use exact phrases like assisted living for seniors when searching for the services they want to avail of. By and large, they’re already well aware that seniors have different needs. We also need to factor in the varying conditions and personalities of each senior.

For this, it would be better to follow tried-and-tested methods and strategies that have worked to great success before. These are but some of the guidelines our staff follow that more or less contributed to our being well-known in our areas of coverage. 

  • Always be respectful and refrain from making any condescending or patronizing statements. This includes expressing stereotypes that do nothing good for our residents.
  • Always prioritize empathizing and understanding the current emotions each resident is feeling while talking to us. This is why our staff is known for being one of the most compassionate, selfless, and generous in areas we service. 
  • Keep distractions at a minimum, if they can’t be fully eliminated altogether. Anything that only creates undesirable noise serves as a barrier to effective communication, after all. This also factors in seniors who have impaired hearing.
  • Fostering positivity by encouraging activities that decrease the stress felt by residents. In communication, this could include sharing jokes and encouraging humor that is suitable to seniors. 
  • Avoiding the use of medical jargon and technical terms when discussing their treatment.
  • Always taking into consideration each resident’s cultural beliefs and refraining from saying something that may sound discriminatory. 

Lantern Lifestyle:

Communication, as you can see, will always be one of the main ingredients to your success. Once your facility starts gaining immensely positive feedback with regards to communication, chances are you’ll be ranking high for coveted terms like “assisted living memory care facilities near me”. 

Without a doubt, it also serves as a gauge of how sincere you are in uplifting and enriching the lives of your residents. It evokes a very basic human need that will never be extinguished as long as your residents have the capacity to talk and listen — and the desire to form connections. 

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