Information for Professionals: Tips for Communicating with Older Patients

Given the COVID-19 outbreak, many medical practices are communicating with patients in different ways, like telehealth. This makes good communication even more important between health care teams and older patients. 

There are many ways that professionals can improve their communication skills, including:

  • Using the patient’s preferred form of address to show respect.
  • Establishing a rapport to help relieve stress.
  • Trying not to rush by speaking slowly and avoiding interrupting.
  • Being empathetic by using phrases like, “That sounds difficult,” or “I’m sorry you’re facing this problem; I think we can work on it together.”

Visit the NIH website for additional information about improving communication with older patients.

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