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.

President Obama designates June 15th Elder Abuse Day

Released by the White House Conference on Aging Council:

Elder Justice Forum Panel

The President designated Monday, June 15, 2015 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and he called on all Americans to observe the day by “learning the signs of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and by raising awareness about this important public health issue.” Elder Justice is one of the four main focus areas of the 2015 WHCOA, and Executive Director Nora Super marked the day by speaking at the First World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Global Summit. According to Super, “Every year, millions of older adults around the world experience abuse, neglect, or exploitation. While elder abuse statistics are staggering, behind every number is a mother or father, grandmother or grandfather, husband or wife, neighbor or friend.”

On June 16, WHCOA hosted an Elder Justice Forum. Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, welcomed advocates, physicians, prosecutors, researchers, government officials and others to the White House to talk about how to best to address and prevent elder abuse and financial exploitation. Participants discussed innovative ideas for strengthening law enforcement and prosecutorial efforts; supporting research and victim services; and preventing and combatting elder financial exploitation.

 Photo caption: Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council; Nora Dowd Eisenhower, Assistant Director, Office for Older Americans, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Julie McEvoy, Deputy Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice; Kathy Greenlee, Administrator, Administration for Community Living, and Assistant Secretary for Aging, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Nora Super, Executive Director, White House Conference on Aging; and Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women at the White House Elder Justice Forum on June 16, 2015.

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