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Communication in Caregiving

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”
— Charles Swindoll

Did you know that our communication with others, especially those we care for, can impact how we feel and think?  While the words we speak can have a negative or a positive affect on those around us, they also affect us.

We are always creating “realities” around us when we communicate with others and others do the same with us.

Holly Whiteside at AgingCare.com gives the following example:

‘Imagine yourself visiting your loved one in the hospital. You are walking down the hallway when you overhear two people talking. One of them points at a nurse coming down the hall and tells her friend, “That one has a lousy attitude.”

Later, you meet that nurse in your loved one’s room. Do you feel good about her caring for your loved one?’

Subconsciously, you probably have already formed an opinion of her and will now notice how she does everything with a poor attitude.

We are constantly being “infected” by others’ words and actions, but do we notice how our own thoughts and words affect how we are feeling?  Words describe feelings but they can also CREATE feelings in ourselves and in others, which is why we should choose our words carefully.

Many types of communication in ordinary life are common, such as “venting” or “sharing.”   However,  caregiving is not ordinary life! As a caregiver, your energy and attitude need to be safeguarded at all costs.

Many of us know people who drain the emotional energy from us. It’s hard to be around people like that. But if we are saying negative things to ourselves about our situation it can be just as draining.

Saying to yourself that “Caregiving is hard” has a slightly negative tone about it, but if you change the phrase by saying  “Caregiving is a challenge” it makes the tone a little more hopeful.

Of course, we all need to vent at times, but Holly Whiteside recommends setting a limit to this. It’s helpful to talk about difficulties, but then move on to more constructive communication.

If we are always creating our realities, with practice we should be able to create something positive!

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Here at Aspen Senior Care we value each and every one of our clients and their families!  Each client is unique and we design our services to match their needs.   If you are in need of assistance or have any questions about our services please give us a call at 801-224-5910 or visit our website at aspenseniorcare.com.  

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