Caregivers in New Canaan, CT – The Value of Being an Active Listener for Your Senior Parent is Immeasurable
Learning how to not only hear another person, but really listen to them can be a huge benefit for caregivers. While society has made our means of communication quick and short, learning how to be an active listener can help caregivers better understand their family members or loved ones.
Active listening is so much more than just hearing words, it is the understanding of an underlying message. True listening allows people to hear what others are really saying, what they really need, or what they might be afraid to say. People often listen for certain things and might miss what is actually being said.This way of listening is called filtering. Caregivers might only listen for complaints or negativity, filtering through comments only expecting to hear critical messages or motives.
How to Listen Properly
Learning to listen to your loved one can change and improve their feelings towards you. Becoming a compassionate listener, non-judgmental listener, or a learning listener can turn a hard conversation into a constructive one. While listening to the person you are caring for talk, think about these questions.
What would it be like to have this person’s personality? Take into consideration if the person is a worry wart, a pessimist, or tends to be eccentric.
What kind of things are important to them? Everyone has a different idea of what’s important, you may not hold the same thoughts and feelings but keep in mind what their beliefs are.
What could have happened in their life to cause them to talk like they do? This could be events that happened an hour before the conversation or 20 years ago. They may have gone through a tragic event or received bad news, try to keep this in mind while they are speaking.
Are they known for their humor, but are being serious and quiet now? If they aren’t acting how you know they usually do, they’re probably going through a tough time. On the other hand, some people fall more into their personality to make it seem as though everything is okay and try too hard.
Being a Better Caregiver through Listening
Caregivers have to develop many important skills; active listening can have lasting benefits. Great listening skills can help build trust between you and a loved you as well as their health team. If you hone this skill, you won’t have to worry about missing vague messages or serious concerns which can be masked in bitterness or humor. Learning to hear what’s underneath the words can help you grow into an even better caregiver and assist you in developing stronger relationships. When you know what to listen for and can show real concern to your parent, they will appreciate it.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in New Canaan, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at (203) 340-0652.