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How to communicate (in-person) to an aging audience

Recently my client wrote this article on how she interviews the silver generation. In any assessment with a client or potential patient, you often end up listening more than you do speaking to get the information you need from an individual possibly near dementia or consistent confusion. Read consumer-focused article on: How to interview…on Pages to the Past.

Consider your subject is placed in a setting, whether it be a home or office. Are they comfortable, and receptive for the duration of your discussion? Is their condition, ailment, or disease a potential barrier to your interview? Here are some considerations first to account for his or her medical or health needs:

  • vision and focus, to look at you when speaking
  • ambulatory status, sitting up and down in a chair
  • weight-bearing, can the person stand-sit-lay if a presentation is required
  • dexterity, if required to write
  • attention-span, if the elder can maintain conversation for more than several minuts at a time, or 20.

What other considerations would you add? We’d love to hear what people in the industry are doing to successfully communicate with those receiving treatment. If you check-in clients, conduct assessments, patient interviews, conduct medical research studies, share your expertise below in the comments.

Free Course on Understanding the Ebola Virus

Hooray! I’m certified in Ebola, or at least, understanding the virus and how to avoid it. ALISON hosts free online courses and launched a very timely course for anyone and everyone to take online. Users must register for the interactive-slide presentation. There will be an assessment to take at the end of the course, and completions will reward you with a certificate of achievement. The language and images were easy to understand and remember, making this excellent for young learners as well as individuals without a medical background. 
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Google and Compete Study: Hospital Selection Infographic

Over time you get sick. Find a remedy. Watch your symptoms, or endure through them. Go see a doctor if it worsens. Get medication. Watch again. And maybe get better. If the process were that concise, shouldn’t the steps to better health be as succinct for intervention?

Google and Compete.com monitored their online audience for behaviors related to choosing a treatment center or care provider. In the course of monitoring keywords, search terms, clicks, page views, and other standard S.E.O. data of online users their teams found several trends in their Journey to Wellness. What they found revealed that their decisions  were not made in short, intermittent searches and more along the timeline of a strategic process towards better health. How users behave online is profoundly similar to the real world, where people make decisions and choices that are functional for their situation. Follow the steps in this infographic below, and see if your own journey to wellness follows what many others are doing online. Have you ever searched for medical information and care providers online? If so, how did you begin?

hospital-selection-infographicThere are many who have aging parents, urgent hospitalizations, helped a family member find a doctor, or asked a friend how their experience was. Often, one encounters this experience upon a dire, critical need such as death or major illness. In a frenzy and race against time, the scramble for information in a pinch can be overwhelming. Reading medical journals, webMD articles and healthgrades.com reviews can add more stress and emotion during a difficult time. In this day, there is certainly an abundance of information about medicine to overwhelm – all which can be made easy and simple with clear direction and focus. Empowering yourself and your family with knowledge about healthcare, far in advance of when it is needed, allows one to make the right choice, at the right time. When was the last time you have gone through a crucial search for a provider that turned out well (or not)? Share your thoughts for an open discussion about the search process and what your outcomes were.

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