Caregiver Tips for Effective Communication

  • Be calm and supportive.
  • Be aware of frustrations. Take a break and regroup if necessary. This is a tough task.
  • Acknowledge that caring is difficult, and to not be hard on yourself for being imperfect.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Speak clearly.
  • Speak slowly.
  • Pay attention to what the person is trying to say.
  • Read non-verbal language (facial expressions, gestures).
  • Watch your body language too.
  • Keep your instructions short and simple.
  • Be patient. Give time for the person to answer.
  • Do not speak to the person as a child. Do not draw comparisons to child-like behavior.
  • Avoid efforts to make the person say the right word. You are not teaching.
  • Avoid “open ended” questions. Don’t expect the person to make the decisions.
  • Use one-step instructions.
  • If the thought is lost, repeat the same communication again and reinforce with visual prompt such as Caregiver Cards.
  • Do not ask to “remember”.
  • Do not correct. Do not argue. It is easier to agree.
  • Always reinforce the person’s self-esteem.
  • Treat the person and yourself with respect for the journey you are on together!
  • Have a sense of humor. Appreciate the lighter moments.
  • Be encouraged for you are not alone!

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