Linda, age 71, goes to the doctor to address a new health concern. After a brief visit with the nurse, Linda’s doctor comes into the room. Seven minutes later, Linda is left alone with a handful of paperwork, new prescriptions for medications she isn’t quite sure she needs, and more questions than when she came in. Sadly, this scenario is all too common. The medical world is faced-paced and hectic, and not all doctors spend as much time with their patients as many would like. This leaves seniors feeling unheard and frustrated. It becomes even more important that in-home caregivers spend quality time with their senior clients and be good listeners.
Being a good listener means more than just hearing what your senior clients are saying. Listening well involves recognizing the dignity and independence of the senior and giving them the opportunity to fully express their thoughts and feelings. While a homecare system or homecare software might help caregivers remember what daily tasks need to be performed, caregivers must work diligently to develop good listening skills. Here are a few tips for becoming a better listener:
- Give the senior undivided attention. Silence your cell phone, turn off the television, and clear your mind of all distractions. When you are completely focused, you will not only hear the words the senior is saying, but will also take note of the tone of voice and body language – which can speak volumes.
- Listen without judgment. Even if the senior is critical or complaining, do not form an opinion or cast judgment. Avoid thinking ahead to what you will say in reply, and just listen.
- Maintain eye contact. Your body language can significantly impact how well you listen. Making eye contact, leaning forward – even nodding your head – can all help you stay engaged on what the senior is saying.
- Repeat the senior’s words. It may feel awkward at first, but repeating what the senior says will help him feel heard and understood. If you aren’t certain of what they are trying to tell you, ask questions.
- Take notes. For a serious issue that needs to be addressed with other care team members or family, caregivers can take brief notes in their homecare software and then update family members via ClearCare Online’s web-based homecare system.
When an elderly person comes forward with a concern or a problem, they may often do so with trepidation. They may fear that complaining will cause undue stress to family members, or even land them in a nursing home. Taking the time to listen to their concerns and address them in a reassuring way will give them confidence to come to you again in the future. Caregivers should use a reliable homecare software or homecare system such as ClearCare Online to monitor and track all senior care concerns so they can be resolved to the senior’s satisfaction.
An innovative homecare system or homecare software solution addresses many senior concerns as it ensures dependable, quality care. Seniors and their families can rest assured that all important daily tasks will be completed and that caregivers will always arrive as scheduled. For more details about ClearCare Online’s homecare system and homecare software, call one of our friendly representatives today for a free demonstration.