Thursday, October 1, 2009

Communicate with ageing parents

Two common communication problems make discussion of sensitive issues with seniors even more difficult. Both problems are illustrated in The TV show "Mother & Son".
One happens if there is a continuation of the parent-child roles from childhood. There was never a coming-of-age for the junior person. This allows the parent to easily dismiss the child's ideas. (Gary McDonald's character)
The other one is patronising speech or "baby talk". (Henry Szeps' character - the dentist) This approach puts older adults on the defensive and convey a lack of respect for them.
When having discussions with seniors always try to move toward solutions that provide the maximum amount of independence for the older person.
See the 40-70 rule:

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