With Older Adults: An Evidence-Based Review of What Really Works," the
latest report from The Gerontological Society of America,
provides 40 pages of recommended guidelines for health care providers
interacting with the fastest-growing age segment of America's population.
The report provides 29 specific recommendations in 4 categories: general tips
for improving interactions with older adults, general tips for improving
face-to-face communication with older adults, tips for optimizing interactions
between health care professionals and older patients, and tips for
communicating with older adults with dementia.
the specific steps outlined in the report, providers are encouraged to avoid
speech that might be seen as patronizing to an older person, verify listener
comprehension during a conversation, and pay close attention to sentence
structure when conveying critical information.
The recommendations were contributed by experts
in the fields of gerontology and communications. Each is accompanied by a brief
explanation of the rationale, tips for implementing the recommendation in busy
health care settings, and selected references for further reading. The
objective is to encourage behaviors that consider the unique abilities and
challenges of older adult patients and produce positive, effective interactions
among everyone involved.