We use the phone every day! Day in, day out, we dial, we chat and we move on. What does making a phone call entail? If we focus more on what we are doing when we make that call, will anything be different? Let’s read over some useful tips that we can use to improve our communication. In senior living, a senior who has good communication skills, is more likely to be a healthy, happy senior.
Dealing with Hearing Better
- Find a quiet place to make the phone call.
- Choose a time where there is less background noise and activities.
- Some people prefer using an ear piece such as earphones or a Bluetooth wireless device to improve the sound quality while using a cellphone, especially when you are out and about.
- Listen carefully to what the person on the other end of the line is saying.
- It sometimes helps us ‘hear better’ if we can see the person we are talking to. Consider using a video calling app or FaceTime.
- Sometimes it helps to put the phone on speaker, for example, if you want to write something down while on the phone.
- There are amplified phones or assisted listening devices which can improve communication for those who have hearing loss.
- Be aware of how you are enunciating your words.
- Breathe well.
- Look slightly upwards when you talk, so that the mouth is open properly.
- Talk slowly and clearly.
- Ask if the person you are talking to understood what you said.
- If you have a question ask the other person to explain again.
Preparing for a Phone Call
- Write down the topics you want to cover beforehand, so you don’t have to remember them
- By planning what you want to say you can manage the direction of the conversation.
- You can keep it short if you are in a ‘quieter’ mood.
- If it is a sensitive topic or emotionally moving, try to get ready mentally before you dial. Taking deep breaths might help.
- Plan to make challenging phone calls in the morning or at a time when you have more energy and strength.
- Think about the tone of voice you are using. Since the other person can’t see you, you tone will set the tone of the conversation. Do you want to sound relaxed and happy, concerned or determined? Different types of phone calls will be more effective if you use the right tone. For example, if you are calling a hard-to-reach doctor, then, sound determined, not relaxed and happy!
- Don’t do other things at the same time. Sometimes if you multitask you don’t do either task well.
Being Practical – Good Phone Practices
- Check there is enough battery life before you make a call
- When you store phone numbers in your contacts list take the time to write out the name properly for example write “Jane Smith” rather than “J Smith” or “Peter Aguilarlen” rather than “aguilarlen”. When you come to make the phone call you will be more aware of whom you are calling.
Safety on the Phone
- Never talk on the cell phone when you are driving. Follow local laws. Talking on the phone or texting while driving can be dangerous. Cell phones are the leading cause of distracted driving in the States.
- Do not talk on the phone when you are crossing a busy road. You need to be fully alert and aware of vehicles and traffic, both seeing and hearing well.
- If you are using an earpiece, pay attention that the volume is not too high, as consistently listening to music on a high volume with earphones can cause damage to the hearing.
- Apparently stories about cellphones exploding are sometimes exaggerated, but it is advisable to use a manufacturer-approved or good quality charger.
Your friends and your family will be happy to hear from you, especially if you are smiling when you talk, as the smile will travel done the wires even if you can’t be seen.
An article about cell phones has to have a reference to minding one’s cell phone manners. This is so important, especially in today’s generation when many of us are so attached to our phones.
Technology These Days
Being a senior living in times of technological surge, you should know that there are many cell phone tricks you can discover.
Make the most of senior living and use your cell for great communication, along with the rest of the 42% of seniors aged 65 or older who use cell phones frequently.