3 Ways to Build Better Relationships with the Elderly

There are a lot of changes happening in the body as people age. Physical, emotional and mental changes become more evident and acquiring ailment has become a visible part of growing old. In an aged care facility, these conditions may hinder family members and caregivers from maintaining a good relationship with our elderly residents. It is important for us to know how we can manage and build better relationship with them despite these changes.



  1. One of the physical changes that we usually encounter is hearing loss which primarily affects the communication process. It is both frustrating to the care staff and the resident if there is a difficulty explaining things or giving simple directions to accomplish the task. It is often hard to make sure how to get the message across which could sometimes lead to more confusion. Care staff are trained to communicate well and to follow different techniques in order to relay their message with full understanding. But how? The following measures are proven effective in communication with the elderly:

– Care staff has to adjust their voice and have it well modulated; raising the tone to the point of almost shouting is never advisable as this tends to make the residents feel frightened.

– Care staffs are taught to position themselves in front of the resident so they could see who they are talking to and that they can lip read as this also helps in a full comprehension of the message.

– Care staff must also speak in a moderate tone enunciating the words correctly and slowly.


  1. Another factor to consider is the emotional state of your elderly client. They tend to be very sensitive at times. This can be attributed to their health conditions, family dynamics, and personal issues. By considering these factors, you will learn that they need you to pay more attention to what they say and sometimes active listening is the only way to accomplish this. They will tell you stories from long ago and so learning how to sincerely listen can make a lot of difference to them. Ask questions and show concern or endearment. This will also help you understand where they are coming from and provide you details on how you can better look after them.


  1. Residents have the tendency to be very forgetful, and so this means that despite the fact that you keep on repeating your name or instruction notice that they cannot still remember. They also tend to lose their belongings often and will not be able to tell you where they put them. They are sometimes unable to speak of their wants and needs and so a good attention to their non-verbal cues are needed to make sure that they are provided with much needed care and attention. Keep in mind that they are not doing it intentionally and that this is expected given their health status. Be patient and empathize; it will mean a lot to them. And as the saying goes, they will not remember what you did to them but they will surely remember how you make them feel.


In achieving a better relationship with the elderly, these points will aid you in providing the best quality service to your resident. Proper time management and organizational skills will be very helpful in achieving this collaborative goal of care.

(Photos courtesy of Alterfines at Pixabay.com)