Groups for the Older Adult
THE OLDER ADULT POPULATION GROWS
As the American population ages, the importance of group work
grows. Almost 13% of the population in the United States is 65
or older and the 85-and-older group is growing exponentially.
With the baby boomers turning senior citizens, the need for
gerontological services will be even greater.A nursing-home resident is an atypical older adult today.
Older people are highly diverse in their behavior and interests.
Far more typical than ill, nursing-home residents requiring
physical care are senior citizens involved in group activities
through hospital- or community-sponsored social clubs that
combine fitness and recreational activities. Many older adults
live at home, and even those who need additional care can
choose from a variety of living situations—from sheltered care
and assisted living to retirement homes.Special considerations of communication with groups of older
adults who may have cognitive or memory impairment are:
|1. ||Use facial and eye contact to communicate.|
|2. ||Directly face the other person and speak slowly, enunciating words so lips can be read.|
|3. ||Stay in close proximity or move closer to a hearingimpaired person before speaking. Avoid resorting to shouting or yelling.|
|4. ||Experiment with the use of signs, written words, pictures, films, music, or taped recordings as group communication vehicles.|
|5. ||Expand the use of gestures, body language, and role playing to enhance the message being communicated.|
|6. ||Reinforce a verbal message with a written, auditory or