Person-Centered Communication with Older Adults

Person-Centered Communication with Older Adults

The Professional Provider's Guide

1st Edition - June 1, 2015

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  • Author: Timothy Storlie
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128004333
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124201323

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Providers serving older adults face a growing problem. Older adults are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with service quality citing deficits in provider communication and relationship skills. The author argues this dissatisfaction is largely related to three widespread issues: ageism, use of professional jargon, and age-related changes in the older adult. To address these concerns, Dr. Storlie advocates adoption of an evidence-based, person-centered approach to communication. The benefits of person-centered communication are many. They can increase older adult satisfaction with provider services, enhance mutual respect and understanding, improve accuracy of information exchanged, positively impact service outcomes, increase compliance with provider recommendations, and reduce the frustration and stress often experienced by both provider and older adult. Rare to this genre, readers are introduced to several under-explored topics within the field of communication, along with methods for applying concepts from research findings into these topics to enhance the quality of interpersonal communication. Topics include the role of mental imagery in the communication process, the influence of neurocardiology on relationships, and controversial findings from research into quantum physics. The book concludes by highlighting progress made in narrowing the interpersonal communication gap and forecasts how communications-oriented technological advances might improve quality of life for 21st century older adults and the providers who serve them. Utilizing interdisciplinary case studies to illustrate common problematic situations, this book provides detailed exercises that explain how providers can integrate person-centered communication into their practices to improve provider-older adult interactions. Written in a style designed to maximize learning, it helps providers find the information they need, understand what they read, and apply what they’ve learned to improve professional communication. Person-Centered Communication with Older Adults is an essential guide for today’s healthcare professionals and other aging-services providers, and also for the educators who help to prepare the providers of tomorrow.

Key Features

  • Presents a conceptual framework for understanding respect-based, person-centered communication
  • Teaches specific communication skills to aging services providers and educators to assist in effectively communicating with older adults
  • Includes numerous case studies to help in identifying common problematic situations and describing practical ways to integrate positive communication
  • One of the first books to integrate scientific, evidence-based findings with a personal approach that includes important new information on neurocardiology


Aging services healthcare providers including psychologists, physicians, social workers, nurses, rehab and occupational therapists, etc, as well as instructors and students in similar fields.

Table of Contents

    • Dedication
    • Foreword
    • About the Author
    • Preface
    • Chapter 1. Providers, Older Adults, and Communication
      • Introduction
      • A Message to Service Providers
      • Every Older Adult Has a History and a Story—Here Is Frances’s
      • The Older Adult Wants What Every Person Wants
      • Older Adults—The Fastest Growing Segment of the Global Population
      • Strain on Healthcare, Social Services Programs, and Providers
      • The Expanding Network of Providers of Services to Older Adults
      • Author Comment: Communication—The Common Thread
      • The Core Problem: Dissatisfaction with Provider Communication
      • The High Costs of Miscommunication and Misunderstanding
      • Poor Communication and Stress
      • Core Barriers to Effective Communication
      • Professional Reflection
      • Model of Aging and Communication
      • Plain Talk
      • Author’s Experience: My First Hospice Patient
      • Worth Remembering
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Select Professional Journals
      • Web Resources
    • Chapter 2. How to Learn and Implement the Person-Centered Approach to Communication
      • Introduction—The Core Problem and Five Key Recommendations
      • First—Do No Harm
      • The Importance of Worldview
      • How Personal View Influences the Communication Process
      • Purposeful Modification of Worldview
      • Narrative Stories Influence Physiology
      • How Narrative Stories Can Impact Physiology
      • Significance of Mental Interpretation in Forming Worldview
      • Overall Approach for Learning to Improve Communication
      • Shaping Worldview
      • Implementation Science
      • Provider Motivation to Improve Communication Skills
      • The Next Steps
      • Providers as Effective Communicators
      • Clear Intentions Lead to Clear Results
      • Four-Stage Model of Mastering New Learning and/or Skills
      • Barriers to Improving Communication with Older Adults
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
    • Chapter 3. The Professional Relationship: The Foundation of Person-Centered Communication
      • Introduction: The Next Most Important Step
      • Communication Occurs within a Relationship
      • Relationship: The Circuit for Communication
      • Professional Relationships and Person-Centered Philosophy
      • Definitions and Descriptions of Person-Centered Care
      • Person Centered or Provider Centered?
      • Person-Centered, Relationship-Based Service Delivery
      • The Role of Rapport in Establishing a Person-Centered Relationship
      • The Nature of Rapport
      • Establishing Rapport in an Unequal Relationship
      • Theories of Aging and Person-Centered Communication
      • The Influence of Aging Theories in Establishing Rapport
      • Erik Erikson’s Eight-Stage Theory of Psychosocial Development
      • Additional Methods for Cultivating Rapport
      • Deepening Rapport
      • Rapport and Mirroring
      • Don’t Call Me Honey!
      • The Role of Deep Listening in Rapport Building
      • Person-Centered Mindfulness
      • Multitasking versus Mindfulness
      • Service in the Digital Age
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Web Resources
    • Chapter 4. Nuts and Bolts of Interpersonal Communication: The Clinical Face of Service
      • Introduction
      • Provider–Older Adult Interpersonal Communication
      • The Two Faces of Service: Technical and Clinical
      • Professional Provider Communication versus Social Communication
      • Purposeful Communication: Content and Relationship
      • Types of Communication: Verbal, Nonverbal, and Text-Based
      • The Cycle of Communication
      • The Three Components of the Provider–Older Adult Interaction
      • The Seven C’s of Effective, Competent Communication
      • Waiting and Waiting
      • Three Special C’s
      • Person-Centered Listening
      • Self-Assessment: Professional Listening
      • Encouraging Additional Disclosure and Elaboration
      • The Three Types of Questions in the Provider–Older Adult Interaction
      • Suggestions for Effective, Person-Centered Communication
      • Barriers to Effective, Person-Centered Communication
      • Providing Emotional Support: Helping Words, Harmful Words
      • Concluding the Provider–Older Adult Interaction
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Web Resources
    • Chapter 5. Person-Centered Communication: Ageism—the Core Problem
      • Introduction
      • Ageism—A Formidable Expression of Bigotry
      • Conceptual Basis of Ageism: Prejudice, Stereotyping, Discrimination
      • Roots of Ageism
      • Consequences of Ageism
      • Ageism Is an Assault on Respect and Dignity
      • Elderspeak
      • Elder Speak: Compare and Contrast
      • Elder Abuse
      • Detecting and Reporting Elder Abuse
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Web Resources
    • Chapter 6. Person-Centered Communication: Age-Related Changes, Cultural Challenges, and Difficult Conversations
      • Introduction
      • Providers, Older Adults, and the Exchange of Information
      • Informed Consent
      • Confidentiality
      • Advance Health Care Directives
      • Cultural Barriers
      • Suggestions for Cross-Cultural Communication
      • Age-Related Hearing Loss and Person-Centered Communication
      • Causes of Age-Related Hearing Loss
      • Experience of Hearing Loss
      • The Teach-Back Technique
      • General Recommendations for Providers
      • Aphasia
      • Suggestions for Communicating with Older Adults with Aphasia
      • Communication with Older Adults with Cognitive Impairments
      • Suggestions for Communicating with Older Adults with Alzheimer’s
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Web Resources
    • Chapter 7. Person-Centered Communication and Stress: The Eighth C—Calmness
      • Introduction: The Stress of Communication
      • Poor Communication and Stress
      • The Body’s Stress Response
      • The Experience of Stress: Fight-or-Flight or Tend-and-Befriend
      • Definitions of Stress
      • The Stress Response
      • Resilience
      • Do No Harm Revisited
      • Provider Stress
      • Community Living, Stress, and the Older Adult
      • Stressors
      • Common Occupational Stressors
      • Professional Burnout
      • Effects of Staff Burnout on Quality of Services
      • Stress and the Provider’s Personal Plan of Care
      • The Key Role of Organization Administration
      • Stress Plan of Care for the Provider
      • Defusing Stress: Eliciting the Relaxation Response
      • Time out for the Professional
      • The Stress of Commuting
      • The Stress of Documentation
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Web Resources
    • Chapter 8. Person-Centered Communication: Mental Imagery and Imagined Interactions
      • Introduction
      • Evidence for the Efficacy of Imagery
      • Learning Curves and Developmental Trajectories
      • Historical Use of Mental Imagery
      • Contemporary Professional Applications of Mental Imagery
      • Imagery: Self-Directed or Guided, Receptive or Active
      • Process Imagery and End-State Imagery
      • Daydreams, Imagined Interactions, Imaginal Communication
      • The Safe Place: A Staging Area for Mental Rehearsal
      • Using Imagery and Daydreaming to Improve Communication
      • Physiologic Mechanisms of Imagery and Imaginal Interactions
      • How to Script and Direct Mental Imagery
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Web Resources
    • Chapter 9. Neurocardiology of Communication: The Ninth C—Coherence
      • Introduction
      • Pathways of Connection and Communication
      • Neurocardiology
      • The “Little Brain” in the Heart
      • Heart–Brain Interaction and Interpersonal Communication
      • Heart–Brain Intrapersonal Communication
      • Heart Rate Variability, Human Emotions, and Coherence
      • Coherence and Incoherence
      • Heart-Focused Practical Applications for the Provider
      • Energetic Ethics
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Web Resource
    • Chapter 10. The Physics of Interpersonal Communication: The Tenth C—Connection
      • Introduction
      • The Most Profound Discovery in All of Science
      • Distance Benevolent Intention
      • Distance Intentionality
      • The Central Intelligence Agency and Distance Intention
      • Advances in Research into Distance Intentionality
      • Development of Quantum Mechanics and Entanglement
      • Entanglement
      • Entangled Human Beings
      • The Interaction of Consciousness and Matter
      • Bell’s Theorem on Nonlocality
      • Human–Machine Interaction Anomalies
      • Ethical Concerns Revisited
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Web Resources
    • Chapter 11. Person-Centered Interpersonal Communications: The Future of Aging
      • Introduction
      • Humanity’s Family Tree: The Elders of Past, Present, and Future
      • The Changing Role of the Elder
      • The Future: Some Things Change, Some Do Not
      • The Five Barriers to Effective Communication—Revisited
      • Predictions and Forecasts
      • Good News, Bad News: Educated Guesses
      • A Glimpse around the Bend
      • Conclusion
      • List of Main Points for Preview and Review
      • Web Resources
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 218
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: June 1, 2015
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128004333
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124201323

About the Author

Timothy Storlie

Affiliations and Expertise

Private Practice, Vancouver, WA, USA

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