As a home care provider, you are constantly engaging with elderly patients about various matters. With interpersonal skills being at the forefront of home care, improving your ability to communicate with patients is essential for success in the field. As we discussed in a recent article, knowing how to break the ice when introducing yourself to a new patient will make them more comfortable receiving home care services. Being familiar with some conversation starters can ensure that a positive, meaningful relationship is developed with your patients over time. Here are some of the best conversation starters to keep in mind:
What is your family like?
Most elderly patients will welcome discussing their family members in detail. Encouraging the patient to discuss their spouse, children, and grandchildren will make them feel at home, giving them comfort when they may feel lonely, sad, or stressed. Incorporating their family in the conversation can put the patient at ease and show you care about their personal background.
What is an activity you’d like to do?
Home care providers are often hired to facilitate social outings for elderly patients, such as driving them to a friend’s home or going to a restaurant. Asking your patient about activities they may enjoy will help you make arrangements that best suit their interests. It can be very empowering for patients to partake in hobbies and do things that bring them joy.
How are you feeling?
While it may seem obvious, expressing interest in the patient’s feelings can often be the easiest way to start a conversation. Asking this question allows the patient to discuss how they are feeling both physically and emotionally. For instance, some patients may say they’re worried, while others may say they’re overwhelmed or sad. As a home care provider, you can console your patients and lend an ear when they need it most.
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