Senior Care Resources and Information in Charlotte, NC

June is Effective Communications Month

Family Caregiver TipsFamily Caregiver Tips in Charlotte, NC

Ever had a conversation like this?

Person 1 says, “What would you like to do tonight?”
Person 2 says, “Uh-huh.”

Person 1 says, “Are you listening to me?”
Person 2 says, “Uh-huh.”

Person 1 says, “What did I just say?”
Person 2 says, “Uh-huh.”

Person 1 says, “A pink elephant just flew in the window.”
Person 2 says, “Uh-huh.”

Clearly, person 2 is not listening to a word person 1 is saying. This is an obvious example of ineffective communication. Ineffective communication is less obvious when the person does listen to the words, yet fails to comprehend their meaning.

Effective Communication

To be an effective communicator, a person needs to use different skills depending on whether the communication is verbal or written. Body language enhances verbal communication. Communication may be both expressed and implied. For example, a person may say something that their body language contradicts.

Part of effective verbal communication is the ability to truly listen to what another person says. Effective communication is less of telling something to someone else and more of listening intently to comprehend the other person’s point of view. Then a good communicator uses probing questions for clarity. They also restate what the other person said, to make sure it was understood correctly.

Therefore, as the Houston Chronicle reports, effective communication requires these four parts:

  • Listening carefully to what others say (or reading carefully if it is written communication).
  • Expressing ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Asking questions for clarity.
  • Participating in both giving and receiving feedback for better understanding.

Communication with the Elderly

Professional in-home caregivers, providing elder care, know that patience is the key to effective communication with the elderly. It is important to note if the elderly have trouble hearing things or
comprehending the meaning of the communication. Difficulty understanding simple communication may be an early sign of other problems such as the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

June is a great month to practice effective communication because it starts on June 1 with “Say Something Nice Day.” Start the month of with a great positive attitude by spending all the day of Monday June 1, saying nice things to everyone encountered on that day, especially the elderly. Then continue with the same spirit for the rest of the month.

The Great Communicator

The birth date of former president Ronald Reagan is on June 5. He was known as “The Great Communicator.” An unforgettable historical moment is when he went on international television during 1987. He said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” referring to the monstrosity of the Berlin Wall that harshly separated East and West Germany since after WWII. When the wall came down in 1989, both Germanys reunited and the rest of the world rejoiced. Now that is effective communication.

Many conflicts are avoidable if only better communication efforts reduced misunderstandings. Try with the best efforts to make June a month of effective communication. If not able to say something nice, say nothing at all. Listen, in order to be heard.


Ways to Ensure Effective Communication

“Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall” President Ronald Reagan

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Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith, Founder and Co-Owner of Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte is hands on with every detail of Golden Heart’s business. Natalie emigrated to the United States from Ukraine. Coming to this country, she did not know a word of English and her and her mother had virtually nothing. Through hard-work and determination as well as through the assistance of social organizations, Natalie learned English, educated herself and grew to be a business owner. It was while working as a caregiver and putting herself through school that Natalie came to love working for, and with, seniors. It was this passion for taking care of others (as well as her past experience where she herself was on the receiving end of help) that led Natalie to always want to open her own home care agency. She takes a tremendous amount of pride in providing quality care to the clients of Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte. As such, she uses her corporate experience in management to oversee the selection and hiring of caregivers for Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte. In addition, Natalie continuously engages with clients to ensure they are more than satisfied with the care they receive and constantly looks for ways to improve herself and her company.