Click here to download

Communicating with the elderly
Journal Title: RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA  
Author/s: Lidia De Piccolo 
Year:  2012 Issue: 2-3 Language: Italian 
Pages:  16 Pg. 309-324 FullText PDF:  235 KB
DOI:  10.3280/RIP2012-002011
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 


Old people are very different, therefore communicative styles have to take into account an individualized approach to accomplish personal needs and actual necessities. This paper resumes current research on verbal and nonverbal communication with old people. Correlations between relational aspects and non-verbal behaviors such as glance, smile and facial expressions, posture, touch and proxemics are presented with reference to research data. Moreover, a synthesis of communicative behaviors to adopt with cognitively impaired patients and those affected by dementia are presented. When communicating with an aged person it is useful to ask brief questions, verifying his/her comprehension, to use a calm tone of voice, to talk slowly, maintaining a calm attitude, leaving all the time needed to give the response, to repeat if needed, adopting the same type of words and language (i.e. dialect) expressed by the elderly. It is often useful to gather information from relatives regarding the life habits, the environmental context and the preferences of the elderly. Finally, enhancing the skills and trying to use the most intact remaining senses may be considered as a valuable approach.
Keywords: Aged, elderly, verbal communication, non-verbal communication.

  1. AGS Panel on Persistent Pain in Older Persons (2002). The management of persistent pain in older persons. Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 50, S205-S224
  2. Ambady, N., Bernieri, F., Richeson, J.A. (2000). Toward a histology of social behavior: Judgemnetal accuracy from thin slices of the baheavioral stream. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol 32, pp. 201- 271). San Diego: Academic Press
  3. Anolli, L. (2006). Fondamenti di psicologia della comunicazione. Bologna: il Mulino.
  4. Armostrong-Esther, C.A., Browne, K.D., & McAfee, J.G. (1994). Elderly patients: still clean and sitting quietly. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19, 264-271
  5. Bensing, J.M., Kerssens, J.J., & van der Pasch, M. (1995). Patient-directed gaze as a tool for discovering and handling psychosocial problems in general practice. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 19, 223-242
  6. Cesa-Bianchi, M., Cristini, C., & Cesa-Bianchi, G. (2000). Anziani e comunicazione: tra salute e malattia. Napoli: Mediserve
  7. Caporael, L.R., Lukaszewski, M.P., & Culbertson, G.H. (1983). Secondary baby talk: Judgments by institutionalized elderly and their caregivers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 746-754.
  8. Caris-Verhallen, W.M., Kerkstra, A., & Bensing, J.M. (1997). The role of communication in nursing care for elderly people: a review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25, 915-933
  9. Caris-Verhallen, W.M., Kerkstra, A., van der Heijden, P.G., & Bensing, J.M. (1998). Nurse-elderly patient communication in home care and institutional care: an explorative study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 35, 95- 108.
  10. Caris-Verhallen, W.M., de Gruijter, I.M., Kerkstra, A., & Bensing J.M. (1999a). Factors related to nurse communication with elderly people. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 30, 1106-1117
  11. Caris-Verhallen, W.M., Kerkstra, A., & Bensing, J.M. (1999b). Non-verbal behaviour in nurse-elderly patient communication. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 29, 808-818.
  12. Davies, S.M. (1992). Consequences of division of nursing labour for elderly patients in a continuing care setting. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 17, 582-589
  13. Defanti, C.A., Tiezzi, A., Gasparini, M., Gasperini, M., Congedo, M., Tiraboschi, P., Tarquini, D., Pucci, E., Porteri, C., Bonito, V., Sacco, L., Stefanini, S., Borghi, L., Colombi, L., Marcello, N., Zanetti, O., Causarano, R., Primavera, A., & Bioethics and Palliative Care in Neurology Study Group of the Italian Society of Neurology (2007). Ethical questions in the treatment of subjects with dementia. Part I. Respecting autonomy: awareness, competence and behavioural disorders. Neurological Sciences, 28, 216-231.
  14. Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. (1972). Love and hate: The natural history of behavior patterns. Oxford, England: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
  15. Ekman, P.F., Wallace V., & Ancoli, S. (2001). Facial signs of emotional experience. In W.G. Parrott (Ed.), Emotions in social psychology: Essential readings (pp. 255-264). New York, NY, US: Psychology Press
  16. Eritz H., & Hadjistavropoulos, T. (2011). Do Informal Caregivers Consider Nonverbal Behavior When They Assess Pain in People With Severe Dementia? The Journal of Pain, 12, 331-339
  17. Feil, N. (1993). The Validation Breakthrough. Baltimore: Health Professions Press
  18. Fuchs-Lacelle, S., & Hadjistavropoulos, T. (2004). Development and preliminary validation of the pain assessment checklist for seniors with limited ability to communicate (PACSLAC). Pain Management and Nursing, 5, 37-49.
  19. Gibb, H., & O’Brien, B. (1990). Jokes and reassurances are not enough: ways in which nurses relate through conversation with elderly clients. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 15, 1389-1401
  20. Giles, H., & Coupland, N. (1991). Language: Contexts and consequences. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co
  21. Gleeson, M., & Timmins, F. (2005). A review of the use and clinical effectiveness of touch as a nursing intervention. Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing, 9, 69-77.
  22. Gorawara-Bhat, R., Cook, M.A., & Sachs, G.A. (2007). Nonverbal communication in doctor-elderly patient transactions (NDEPT): development of a tool. Patient Education & Counseling, 66, 223-234
  23. Greene, M.G., Adelman, R.D., Friedmann, E., & Charon, R. (1994). Older patient satisfaction with communication during an initial medical encounter. Social Science & Medicine, 38, 1279-1288
  24. Harrigan, J.A., Oxman, T.E., & Rosenthal, R. (1985). Rapport expressed through nonverbal behavior. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 9, 95-110.
  25. Herr, K., Bjoro, K., & Decker, S. (2006). Tools for assessment of pain in nonverbal older adults with dementia: a state-of-the-science review. Journal of Pain Symptom Management, 31, 170-192
  26. Jenkins, D., & Price, B. (1996). Dementia and personhood: a focus for care? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 24, 84-90.
  27. Jootun, D., & Mcghee, G. (2011). Effective communication with people who have dementia. Nursing Standard, 25, 40-48.
  28. Kaakinen, J., Shapiro, E., & Mae Gayle, B. (2001). Strategies for Working with Elderly Clients: A Qualitative Analysis of Elderly Client/Nurse Practitioner Communication. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 13, 325-329.
  29. Kim, E.J., & Buschmann, M.T. (1999). The effect of expressive physical touch on patients with dementia. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 36, 235-243
  30. Klinnert, M., Campos, J., Sorce, J., Emde, R., & Svejda, M. (1983). Emotions as behavior regulators in infancy: Social referencing in infancy. In R. Plutchik & H. Kellerman (Eds.), Emotion: Theory, research and experience (pp. 57-86). New York: Academic Press
  31. Kunz, M., Scharmann, S., Hemmeter, U., Schepelmann, K., & Lautenbacher, S. (2007). The facial expression of pain in patients with dementia. Pain, 133, 221-228.
  32. McCann, K., & McKenna, H.P. (1993). An examination of touch between nurses and elderly patients in a continuing care setting in Northern Ireland. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 18, 838-846.
  33. McGilton, K., Lever, J., Mowat, J., Parnell, L., Perivolaris, A., & Biscardi, M. (2007). Guideline recommendations to improve dementia care. Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly, 8, 109-115
  34. McGilton, K., Sorin-Peters, R., Sidani, S., Rochon E., Boscart, V., & Fox, M. (2011). Focus on communication: increasing the opportunity for successful staff–patient interactions. International Journal of Older People Nursing, 6, 13-24.
  35. Moore, J.R., & Gilbert, D.A. (1995). Elderly residents: perceptions of nurses’ comforting touch. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 21, 6-13.
  36. Niedenthal, P.M., Mermillod, M., Maringer, M., & Hess, U. (2010). The Simulation of Smiles (SIMS) model: Embodied simulation and the meaning of facial expression. The Behavioral and brain sciences, 33, 417-33; discussion: 433- 480.
  37. Rosland, A.M., & Heisler, M. (2011). The impact of family behaviors and communication patterns on chronic illness outcomes: a systematic review. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 35(2), 221-239.
  38. Routasalo, P., & Isola, A. (1996). The right to touch and be touched. Nursing Ethics, 3, 165-176
  39. Routasalo, P., & Lauri, S. (1998). Expressions of touch in nursing older people. European Nurse, 3, 95-104.
  40. Rusbult, C.E., & Van Lange, P.A. (2003). Interdependence, interaction and relationships. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 351-375
  41. Shannon, C.E, & Weaver, W. (1949). The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Urbana-Champaign: Illinois University.
  42. Thomas, L.H. (1994). A comparison of the verbal interactions of qualified nurses and nursing auxiliaries in primary, team and functional nursing wards. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 31, 231-244
  43. Tracy J.L., Robins, R.W. (2008). The nonverbal expression of pride: Evidence for cross-cultural recognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 516-530.
  44. van den Brink-Muinen, A., Verhaak, P.F., Bensing, J.M., Bahrs, O., Deveugele, M., Gask, L. Mead, N., Leiva-Fernandez, F., Perez, A., Messerli, V., Oppizzi, L., & Peltenburg, M. (2003). Communication in general practice: differences between European countries. Family Practice, 20, 478-485
  45. Vigorelli, P. (2004). La conversazione possibile con il malato Alzheimer. Milano: FrancoAngeli
  46. Vigorelli, P. (2005). Comunicare con il demente: dalla comunicazione inefficace alla conversazione felice. Giornale di Gerontologia, 53, 483-487.
  47. Vigorelli, P. (2008). Alzheimer senza paura, manuale di aiuto per i familiari, perché parlare, come parlare. Milano: Rizzoli
  48. Vigorelli, P. (2011). L’Approccio capacitante. Come prendersi cura degli anziani fragili e delle persone malate di Alzheimer. Milano: FrancoAngeli
  49. Waller, B., & Dunbar, R.I.M. (2005). Differential behavioural effects of silent bared teeth display and relaxed open mouth display in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Ethology, 111, 129-142
  50. Zantinge, E.M., Verhaak, P.F., de Bakker, D.H., Kerssens, J.J., van der Meer, K., & Bensing, J.M. (2007). The workload of general practitioners does not affect their awareness of patients’ psychological problems. Patient Education & Counseling, 67, 93-99.

Lidia De Piccolo, Communicating with the elderly in "RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA " 2-3/2012, pp. 309-324, DOI:10.3280/RIP2012-002011

   

FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content