As people grow older, sometimes having conversations with those in a different generation can be difficult. Not everyone knows what to say or how to act when speaking with an elderly relative. Especially if that elderly relative is receiving care for dementia. However, taking the time to enjoy a conversation with an elderly relative will offer plenty of opportunity to learn about their lives, the family’s history and other stories from back in the day.

Speak clearly
Close to 30 percent of those over the age of 65 start to experience some sort of hearing loss. Make sure to speak loud, clear and slow. To avoid sounding condescending, make sure to maintain a calm and gentle voice while keeping the conversation filled with short and simple sentences.

Listen
Take the time to listen to what the other person has to say. Do not interrupt them by trying to fill in the silence while they think of what to say next. Be patient, sit back and listen to the stories they have to tell.

Pay attention to background noise
When having conversations with elderly relatives, try to do it face-to-face. If possible eliminate any background noise, such as television and radio. This will help both parties focus on the conversation and not what is happening in the background.

Have fun
Use humor when speaking with elderly relatives. They say that laughter is the best medicine, so why not have some fun and use humor during the conversation. This includes cracking jokes and talking about funny situations. Using humor will also help ease the tension when in uncomfortable situations.

Recall memories
Help elderly relatives relive the happy moments in their lives by talking about stories from their past. Recalling memories gives elderly relatives a sense being valued. It is important for them to share their experiences with younger generations and they too value the opportunity to do so.

Smile
It is important to smile and look interested in the conversation. Doing so will make the elderly relative comfortable and feel like other family members want to be around.

When speaking with an elderly relative, take the time to listen to the stories he or she has to tell. Just make sure to have patience and speak clearly, so he or she can fully understand what everyone in the conversation is saying.

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