6.6: Emotions in Caregiving

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The aging process comes together with various health problems that hinder the understanding of the elderly, and affect their hearing and sigh, and all these constraints can create different communicative barriers.

Due to physical and psychological changes, communication with older people takes a lot of patience and time. In many occasions this experience can be frustrating because you fail to communicate effectively.

However, you should know that there are techniques that help having fruitful interactions with the elderly or dependent people. (Cuideo, n.d)

First of all, it is vital to recognise the existing communication barriers with them:

   Diseases and pathologies such as dementia and Alzheimer can create difficult communicative barriers to deal with. These two diseases are highly common among this group of people, and hinder their memory and even their speech. It is important to be aware of how these main diseases and pathologies affect the person you care from.
   Language difficulties
   Memory, vision and hearing loss
(Cuideo, n.d)
However, it is vital to have in mind that effective communication with the people you are taking care stimulates and motivates them, as well as improves their quality of life.

Make sure you understand their needs and that you know which their favourite films or hobbies are

Do not forget about their health problems
Keep always in mind that their abilities are not the same as yours, so it might take a little more work for them to talk and understand what you say.
Articulate your words well
Considering that they are likely to have hearing problems, it’s important to speak as clearly as possible.
Take care of the context in which communication takes place
The context in which you communicate is important, because noise is one of the most influential factors when it comes to interacting. Make sure there are no noises that can cause distractions.
Adapt the volume of your voice
The volume of your voice is also important. Don’t confuse speaking well with speaking loudly. You must learn to adapt your voice depending on the individual needs of each person you interact with.
Use clear sentences and questions
Having a good communication depends on how much the recipient understands you. When talking to an elderly person it is vital to use sentences with simple and precise structures to avoid confusing them. Re-examine your sentences, or questions, if you feel that you have not understood well.
Be patient and smile
(Cuideo, n.d)
Moreover, many times we forget the importance that non-verbal language can have in communication.

A caress, a smile, a hug, can transmit them affection and calm. A good use of nonverbal language will help facilitate communication and make them feel more comfortable.

In the next modules we will deal with caregiver’s stress and burn out syndrome, because if we feel stressed and are not able to manage our emotions properly, we will fail to have an enriching and positive communication. Therefore, it is vital to learn to take care of yourself, in order to take better care of others. (Cuideo, n.d)
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Emotional Intelligence in Caring for the Elderly:
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