Our body position and what we do with our body is also a way of communicating for example if someone asks you a question and the reply is yes or no we can answer this by shaking our heads which is communicating back to them with the answer but without speaking. In society today we have so many more ways of communicating than we did 50 years ago such as mobile phone, internet access, writing letters etc these are all ways we can communicate and what we do in our day to day lives.
I personally work in a small residential home where communication is a key factor in my day to day job role, we are all expected to follow and provide the best communication we can. My job role is very much involved with the clients in which I am always communicating in different ways to meet their individual needs.
Some of my clients have different impairment needs for example some have visual impairments and some have hearing impairments which makes it harder for them to communicate with others and can leave the clients feeling very frustrated and lonely if they feel that they cannot communicate with people, eventually it may make them want to give up trying and then they become feeling all alone and not having their needs met. This is why my job is very important by having good communication skills I can meet all their needs and communicate with them and they are able to communicate back to me.
Day by day Im still learning new techniques and skills in order to communicate and make the clients feel better in themselves as I can communicate with them in a way they can understand and not find it difficult for them, for example I have one client which has an hearing impairment and finds it very difficult to communicate with others although client A has an hearing aid client A still has trouble to communicate, in order for me to communicate with client A I often use icture cards which I can hold up and show to client A for example I hold up a picture of a drink or food then by doing this I know if client A wants any and then they can respond to me either by speaking to me or shaking their head.
This makes client A feel wanted and not that they are being left out and not being spoken to I also hold cards up of a toilet, the words hot and cold and much more, client A likes the idea of pictures cards and never knew we could do this until they came to stay with us, so where they thought they would move into a care setting and nobody would communicate with them, client A was very relieved that pictures card where invented.
I felt good in myself when I was providing this communication as I knew I was doing something which was making a client feel better in themselves and made it very rewarding for me. I also use techniques like signs, symbols and objects in order to communicate with the clients with hearing impairments. However in my work place I have a few clients with slight hearing impairments where they can hear me if I higher the tone of my voice slightly and they also lip read which can also be classed as a way of communicating.
I find using these communication techniques helps not only the clients but also me as when Im promoting communicating with them I feel rewarded and good about myself knowing that my clients are happy and getting what they wish. Writing information or certain things down is one way I have also found is an effective way of communicating especially times like meal times when I can write down the options available and then the client can respond to me with their answer once they have read what I have written down.
I think anyone with communication barriers will find it difficult to communicate but there is always a way to outcome the situation and work around it for example client Bs first language was not English which made it hard for client B to communicate with others around the home even though he could speak slight English the other clients found it hard, we overcome this situation as we got a translator in for a little while each week which made client Bs English more sufficient in order for everyone to be able to communicate with client B a little better, now I hear client B having full conversations with others which makes us feel better as a home knowing we promoted this communication.
Clients with visual impairments must find it really difficult to try and communicate with others as not only can they not see the person, they do not know where the person is positioned and sometimes who they are (if they have never met the person before). This is why it is very important to always be at the same level as the person you are trying to communicate with for example if a client is sitting down then the carer is expected to kneel down to the clients eye level and communicate with them face to face and not stand above them and have to shout in order for them to understand you. In a care setting communication should always be at the top of the priority list as if the clients are not being communicated with then their day to day basic needs are not being met.