Barriers to Communication With Seniors

Barriers to Communication With Seniors

August 9th, 2022

Sometimes there can be some difficulties communicating with seniors. Below, we are going to mention three potential barriers to communication with seniors, and how to address them.


Hearing is a big barrier. One of the reasons that this is often a problem is because seniors often do not even realize that they are having difficulty hearing. They also may be reluctant to admit that something is not working as well as it used to. And seniors may not realize that hearing-aid technology has improved considerably in the last 20 years.

If this is problem you are experiencing with a senior, try to gently address the subject. Remind them that hearing aids can be invisible these days, and hearing tests are painless. Explain how much easier their life will be—such as on the phone—with some hearing help.

Cognitive Issues

Cognitive problems are another potential barrier to communication, and discussion with the senior is not likely to be fruitful as most individuals with cognitive problems do not have insight into the issue. This is an example of a time when talking to your family doctor or caseworker may help.

The key to remember here is not to argue with a senior with cognitive issues. Try to remain calm and pleasant and repeat yourself if necessary. The senior may be understanding you but just have difficulty expressing him or herself.

Terms and Language

Terms and language is something else to consider. Make sure that you and the senior you are talking to are understanding each other. Are you using the same vocabulary he or she is or are you using terms or colloquial language that they may not understood? Be considerate when talking to seniors and remember that they may not be “plugged in” or aware of some of the words in your vocabulary.

We have a senior, independent-living community in Airdrie, Alberta called the Hamlets at Cedarwood Station. If would like to talk to us about any of the services we offer or learn more about community, we would be delighted to talk to you. Call us at (403) 945-2222.

Cedarwood Station is an independent-living, senior community in Airdrie, Alberta, just north of Calgary. Guided by the tenets of Christian faith, and with a stellar staff and multiple amenities, Cedarwood Station, is the premier senior-living choice for the area.