Have you been getting irritated with your elderly loved one? Maybe you have been snippy with them because you didn’t really understand what they were saying. You might find yourself interrupting your elderly loved one because you think you know what they are going to say. If you find that you aren’t really listening to your elderly loved one, there are some ways that you can practice your listening skills. By doing this, you and your elderly loved one can communicate better with one another.

Sharing Stories May Not Be the Right Thing to Do

Have you been known to share your own stories when your elderly loved one talks about something that happened to them? You might think that you are just trying to connect to what they are saying. Maybe you are trying to show them that they aren’t alone. However, it may be best to just repeat the things that your elderly loved one has said. If you just talk about your own stories without your elderly loved one knowing you heard what they said, it could cause them to feel upset or unheard. The best thing you can do is to repeat the feelings and maybe parts of the story that your elderly loved one shared. This way, they know you heard them and you know you heard them correctly.

Trying to Cheer Them Up Could be Incorrect at the Time

Have you been trying to cheer your elderly loved one up when they are feeling down? Maybe you just want to see them happier, so you are trying to change the negative tone to a happier one. However, by doing this, your elderly loved one may be feeling as if their negative emotions don’t matter to you. They need to know that you will be there to listen to them talk about their sadness, depression, or anger. If you are constantly trying to change things to a more positive tone, your elderly loved one may not feel they can talk to you about things that are bothering them anymore.

Giving Advice or Solutions Might Not be What They Need

Have you been giving advice to your elderly loved one when they talk about something that is wrong in their life? Maybe you have been offering up solutions to the issues or obstacles that your elderly loved one is facing. If this is what you have been doing, you are probably just trying to help fix the problem. However, your elderly loved one may feel you are taking over. If they are just trying to talk about something out loud, let them do this. At the end of listening to them, you can ask are we trying to find solutions or just talking. This way, you know whether they want your help or not.


These are some of the ways that you can practice your listening skills when your elderly loved one is talking to you. If you can do these things, your elderly loved one may feel more heard and understood. This can improve the communication between you and your elderly loved one.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Eden Prairie, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

Dementia changes a lot of what your senior has always known to be true about how her brain and her personality work. It causes other changes, too. Understanding some of the changes that dementia brings for your senior can help you to get her help that she needs. It can also help you to be more patient with her when she’s experiencing situations that she can’t stop of change.

Shortened Attention Span

Because your senior’s brain is working differently than it used to, she may have a much shorter attention span. She may find that it’s a lot easier to become distracted by things that wouldn’t have distracted her before. She may not be able to keep up with conversations as well as she did in the past, for example, and that can lead to misunderstandings.

Trouble Following Instructions

So much of life requires people to follow lists of instructions or at the very least steps that work together to build up an entire activity or process. Your senior might get lost in those steps now, though, even if she didn’t in the past. She might also find that she has trouble remembering steps that she has followed a million times before. Even the simplest activities can now be much more complicated and she might not understand why.

Communication Issues

Cognitive changes often lead to difficulty communicating. Your senior might have trouble processing information that she hears now or she might have a tough time speaking. Some people with dementia find that they eventually lose the ability to read and write, but some find that happens sooner than expected. Your senior’s situation will be unique, but it’s very likely that communication will become more difficult.

Increased Frustration

All of these changes and more can lead to an increase in frustration and even anger. Your senior may not even realize why she’s as frustrated as she is. It often ends up being your task as her family caregiver to learn how to help her to deal with these changes more easily. Working with elder care providers can help you to do this much more effectively. They’ve got experience helping people with dementia tackle their everyday tasks.

Talk with your elderly family member’s doctor about the changes she’s seeing because of dementia. There may be physical changes as well and they may impact her existing health issues. Your senior’s doctor can help you to prepare for those situations.

If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Eden Prairie, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.