Palliative Care  |  How to Maximise Communication

Palliative Care

How to Maximise Communication

  • To enable optimum communication, encourage all forms; writing, drawing, gesture, eye contact or facial expressions.

  • Structure your questions so they are simple and may only require a yes or no, or offer forced choices; “Would you like tea or coffee”?

  • Preparation for a conversation with a paper and pen, maps, photographs, pictures, objects, may help.

  • Do not speak for the person or ask for their permission if you have to before doing so. Don’t insist that each word is perfectly spoken, don’t change topics suddenly, ensure that you are confident the person has understood what you mean, either by rephrasing, or repetition, or ask them to feed back what you think they have understood.

  • Drawing or key words may also be helpful.

  • Communication devices may be available from your Speech and Language Therapist.

  • Be mindful of people with second languages.

  • Ensure people with hearing aids have them in and turned on and get down to the level of the person that you are speaking to, so that they are not under pressure to crane their neck to see you.

  • Provide the environment which is as optimum as possible so that it is quiet e.g. turn off the television, the vacuum cleaner or closing a door.

  • Background distractions may severely compromise an interaction, so cutting these to a minimum may enable optimum functioning.

  • You may benefit from reviewing the Advanced Care Plan that has communication in advance. This is particularly helpful for those people whose diseases are progressive and you may be able to rely on these for the content of your consultation.

Last updated : Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Next review date : Wednesday, August 22,2018

Disclaimer: This site is intended to be flexible and frequently updated. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, all information should be verified.