The elderly patients on the whole require more compassion, concentration and patience from the nursing staff to get their message across. There are many factors that increase the difficulty in communication between the nurses and the elderly. Patients perceive good communication as critical to the delivery of health care. (Adiar, 1994, Young, 1995) The common patient barriers to communication involve impaired hearing and vision, difference in the way of acting and verbal expression from the younger generation, cognitive and memory problems, physical problems, and environmental factors such as noise or poor lightening. (Park and Song, 2004) Whereas the common nurse related barriers have been assessed to be stereotyping, poor articulation, and excessive use of medical terminologies. (Lubinski and Wellan, 1997)
Many strategies have been described by nurses as being helpful in communication with patients who have verbal difficulties. The cases like of May usually require non verbal communication techniques along with verbal communication. Non verbal communication comprise mainly of seven indices. These are facial movements, gaze, touch, gesticulation, interpersonal spacing, posture and odor. (Barker, 1963, McBride, 1964, Scheflen, 1973, Henley, 1977, Argyle, 1994)
Nurses report looking at the patient and picking up clues such as facial expressions, eye gaze ...