15 Do’s and Don’ts of Communicating with Residents

  • DO speak slowly, clearly, and simply in a low tone of voice.
  • DO be sure to maintain a friendly and open tone in your conversation with the resident.
  • DON’T treat residents as dependents or speak down to them.
  • DO sit on an even level with the resident and maintain eye contact during your conversation. 
  • DON’T interrupt the resident when they are speaking. 
  • DO put yourself in their shoes and try to be empathetic.
  • DON’T contradict them or argue with them. 
  • DO be careful about open ended questions; for some residents, yes or no questions may work better.
  • DON’T command them; ask questions instead to give them control and respect.
  • DO repeat or rephrase questions when necessary, maintaining the same hand gestures and tone of voice.
  • DON’T rush a resident when they’re responding to something you have said. 
  • DO use both verbal and nonverbal communication, especially for residents who are hearing-impaired.
  • DON’T get distracted from your conversation, especially by technology. 
  • DO make sure to get the resident’s attention before initiating conversation. 
  • DO show interest in what the resident has to say. 
  • DO show simple expressions of caring, such as a smile or a hug.