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Rn gerontology III

Communicating with older adults

Verbal communication Formal (therapeutic communications) have a specific intent and purpose Informal (social conversations) less specific and are used for socialization
Therapeutic communication gather information related to a pt’s overall health status and to respond with verbal and nonverbal approaches that promote the pt’s well-being or improve the pt’s understanding of ongoing care
Knowledge of patient bKnowledge of educational background and interests provides nurses with a starting point for conversation 6th grade level, Start with interests
informal communication Social: small talk, pleasantries an conversations about the weather. Don’t be afraid to be “human” when communicating with older patients
nonverbal communication -Symbols: uniform styles and colors help pt’s distinguish the various caregivers -Tone of voice: get down to pt’s eye level, talk in a low, slow voice -Body language
Space between people a.Public space: 12ft or more away b.Social space: 4-12ft; a comfortable distance for a casual relationship c.Personal space 18in-4ft; optimal distance for close interpersonal communication
Gestures Highly cultural and generational; those that are acceptable in one culture may be considered offensive in another
Eye Contact When dealing with older adults, it is important to be sensitive to the meaning of eye contact. Face-to-face minimizes the chance that an older adult with hearing problems can read lips if necessary
speed of communication Do not rush the pt, and do not finish the pt’s sentence. Patients and active listening are greatly needed skills when working with older adults
time and timing Delays in response to a call light or direct requests from a person may be interpreted as a lack of concern. Many older ind have an altered sense of time
introduction How do they like to be addressed? First names may be used in pts with dementia or other alterations in cognition
Barriers to communication If a pt wears a hearing aid, make sure it is clean, that the batteries are working and the device is in the correct ear Aphasia: a partial or total loss of the ability to use or understand words. Dementia: causes both cognitive and language deficits
skills and techniques Informing:direct statements info clear, concise & expressed so pt understands. Direct questioning: can overwhelm an older person, yield brief answers. Open-ended: verify that the info is accurate. Confronting: inconsistence in information
delivering bad news Prepare yourself, think through what you’re going to say, respect pt’s privacy, determine if anyone else should be present. Adequate time, recognize any ethical and cultural variations that may influence how info should be given
Created by: smarti13