Caregiving and Communication
One of the most important skills that anyone can have as a family caregiver is good communication. In fact, knowing how to communicate well is a valuable life skill that anyone can benefit from. Bad communication can lead to conflict, frustration, and undesirable results. Good communication practices can not only improve interactions with you and your aging loved one, but can also have positive impacts in other facets of caregiving, like with doctor visits, counseling visits, and managing interpersonal relations. In this blog, we want to go over ways that family caregivers can improve their communication styles in order to make their role as a family caregiver go more smoothly and effectively. We also hope that better communications skills can improve interactions with other people involved in your loved one’s health, as well.
According to Caregiver.com, one of the most important aspects of good communication is awareness. In this context, being aware means understanding your needs, boundaries, and limitations. When you can identify the state of your mental and emotional wellbeing, then you will be better able to care and communicate better with others.
Another strategy to help communicate better is patience. One of the most important traits to have as a good communicator is the ability to be patient. Often, communication is crucial to solve problems and help others. But if you let your own emotions get in the way, like becoming impatient, then this can lead to more conflict and delay finding a solution.
According to the American Heart Association, another important quality is using “I” statements. This means making sure to mention yourself rather than another person to avoid accidentally placing blame on someone else. For example, if you say “I feel sad” as opposed to “you made me sad” can go a long way in terms of avoiding hurt feelings and conflict. This is a great strategy to use in any circumstance that requires effective communication.
Another good trait to foster is listening. This may seem obvious but it is harder for some people than it appears. Listening requires that you not only pay attention to someone speaking to you, but you think about what they are saying, ask yourself why they might be saying it, and engaging in a conversation with sympathy and empathy. This is called “active listening” and is important to let others know they are being heard.
The last trait we will go over today is saying what you mean. One of the root problems of bad communication is lack of clarity and specificity. If you express yourself clearly and say what you mean to say with specificity, then you can avoid many problems.
If you have any questions, then please give us a call at 888-285-0093 or visit our website for more information.