Caregiving is not just about fulfilling someone’s physical needs; it also involves developing a strong, lasting emotional bond with them.
If you wish to become a great caregiver, you need to have impeccable communication skills. Often, care recipients may get angry, depressed or lonely. As a caregiver, it is imperative that you listen to their concerns and give them the physical and emotional support they need to deal with them.
After all, good caregiver-recipient communication can contribute to improved care recipient health and satisfaction.
However, improving your communication skills requires practice and patience. Here are some tips to help you to communicate clearly and coherently with care recipients:
Practice active listening
Communication is a two-way street. Listening is a vital component of successful caregiver-recipient communication.Talk less, listen more.
Give the care recipient the chance to talk freely. If you do not understand something, you may ask them to repeat what they said.
Pay attention to their words and the intended meaning. Make sure to acknowledge them and do not rush.
In addition to carefully listening to your client’s issues, ask questions. Share your experiences and thoughts with them and ask for their feedback or opinions. It is important to keep care recipients engaged and involved in conversation. Not only does it show that you care, but it is good for their health as well.
If you are dealing with someone with memory problems or who is not keen on talking, it is a good idea to stick to simple closed questions. These questions generally require yes or no answers. Avoid making deep conversations.
Focus on nonverbal communication
Pay attention to your client’s body language and behavior. Sometimes, non-verbal communication says a lot about a person’s mood, thoughts and feelings.
Observe your client’s body language, eye contact, hand movement, or any other nonverbal cues, especially if you do not understand their words.
Express yourself physically
One cannot undermine the power of physical touch. Sometimes, a gentle touch on the hand, a pat on the back, or a kiss on the cheek can make an elderly client’s day. It is comforting, reassuring and fosters a trustworthy connection.
Also, remember to smile and maintain eye contact with care recipients to show that you are interested in what they have to say. Treat them with compassion and kindness, and maintain a positive and calm demeanor around them.
Caregiving is a fulfilling yet challenging career. To equip yourself with the skills needed to thrive in this profession, check out our caregiver resources and blog.
About Global Caregiver:
At The Global Caregiver, we strive to promote quality of care and quality of life for clients, caregivers, and the industry as a whole by encouraging robust conversations with caregivers around the world.
The founder Beverley Shungu-Omba created The Global Caregiver Seminars to provide elite training, workshops, counseling, and coaching to individuals already working in the industry and those considering a career as a caregiver.