Listen to a Senior

3 tips for lending an attentive ear.
Elderly women sit talking together

Your Care Mission:

We recently asked, “What act of kindness has someone done for you?” One person answered: “Listened.” Another person chimed in that a friend “sits and talks to me in the evening.”

Just talking and listening to a senior that is alone often can be a great act of kindness. This week, we’ll share top tips for being a good listener.

  1. Put away distractions. Set aside phones and computers, which can take your focus away from your conversation. It also signals to the person you’re talking to that they are your main priority.

  2. Listen with your whole self. Communication is more than words. Pay close attention to “unspoken” language like gestures, facial expressions, and your body position. Be mindful of the signals you are sending back.

  3. Engage. Go beyond phrases like “yes” and “Mmm-hmm” and actively engage in the conversation. Ask questions to clarify a story or about how someone feels about a topic or experience. Good conversations are like a ping pong game, where there’s a lot of good back-and-forth.

Lending an understanding ear also means being good at engaging with others. And with these tips, you can be well on your way to sharing kindness through conversation.