7 Communication Techniques for Talking to Elderly Parents

Caregiving results in major changes in a family: physical, emotional, social and financial issues can arise. It changes the roles, responsibilities and feelings within the family, which can lead to tension and fighting. Caregivers in the AgingCare.com community frequently support each other with "tricks of the trade" when it comes to effective communication with elderly parents.

We would like to share this knowledge, gained from caregiving day-in and day-out, with you. It doesn't always work, and it won't be easy, but we hope it helps you to cope and try to maintain or repair family relationships – and help you keep your sanity during your caregiving journey!

Don't Give Advice Unless It's Asked For

Parents have advised their children their whole lives, so hearing advice from a child – albeit an adult child - might not go over so well. That parent-child role reversal is hard on the parent. Therefore, giving advice is best avoided unless you are sure it has been asked for. It is generally better to let an outside person be the advisor. You can encourage and provide support, without doling out advise.

Listen to What Your Elderly Parent is Saying

Really listen. Listen to what the person is saying. Don't interrupt or try to fill in the silence. A period of silence could mean your family member is contemplating a response, thinking through the conversation and how to reply. Listening goes both ways, so try to determine that the person is hearing what you say.

Accept Differences of Opinions

No matter how close a family is, and despite the dynamics involved, everyone is not going to agree all of the time. There is sure to be differences of opinions. Respect the opinions of others; don't disregard them. Listen to all sides, and make a decision together when possible.

31 people are discussing this article with 50 comments

Free Helpful Guides

Veterans Benefits Guide
Find federal benefits available to your family.
Get your veterans guide ›
Home Care Guide
How to find, hire and manage home care.
Get the home care guide ›
Caregivers' Survival Guide
Everything you need to care
for an elderly family member.
Get the caregivers' guide ›

Veterans Benefits Guide
Find federal benefits available to your family.
Home Care Guide
How to find, hire and manage home care.
Get helpful information and emotional
support to help you care for a parent
or a loved one. It's FREE!

©2016 AgingCare, LLC. All rights reserved.  About Us  |  Advertise with Us  |  Sitemap


The material of this web site is provided for informational purposes only. AgingCare.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment;
or legal, financial or any other professional services advice. Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.