Jun 24 Care Mission

Listen to a Senior

3 tips for lending an attentive ear.

Finished this mission?

74 seniors have been helped with this mission. Add your effort to the count.

I’m Ready to Log It!

Finished this mission?

74 seniors have been helped with this mission. Add your effort to the count.

I’m Ready to Log It!

Your Care Mission:

We recently asked, “What act of kindness has someone done for you?” One person answered: “Listened.” Another person chimed in that a friend “sits and talks to me in the evening.”

Just talking and listening to a senior that is alone often can be a great act of kindness. This week, we’ll share top tips for being a good listener.

  1. Put away distractions. Set aside phones and computers, which can take your focus away from your conversation. It also signals to the person you’re talking to that they are your main priority.

  2. Listen with your whole self. Communication is more than words. Pay close attention to “unspoken” language like gestures, facial expressions, and your body position. Be mindful of the signals you are sending back.

  3. Engage. Go beyond phrases like “yes” and “Mmm-hmm” and actively engage in the conversation. Ask questions to clarify a story or about how someone feels about a topic or experience. Good conversations are like a ping pong game, where there’s a lot of good back-and-forth.

Lending an understanding ear also means being good at engaging with others. And with these tips, you can be well on your way to sharing kindness through conversation.

Finished this mission?

74 seniors have been helped with this mission. Log your progress so we can add one more.

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Share your care mission experience or more care tips. Then, vote for your favorite story or tip.

Community Comments

  1. My sweet friend/neighbor just needs someone to talk to sometimes. Her husband has Alzheimer’s and she is with him 24/7!! I was over there last evening.

    Karen
    1 Mission Completed
  2. I have the sweetest client. She never dreamed that she would need a caregiver but here I am. I spend 12 hours a day with her. We talk about everything. I try to ask questions about the happier times in her life. That way when I leave she has great dreams and is in a really good mood when I wake her up the next morning.

    Elisa
    4 Missions Completed
  3. Just said hello and asked how an elderly lady walking by was. Half hour later and a big smile . I’m sure we will chat again .😁

    Kim
    1 Mission Completed
  4. I spent some time talking and listening to my neighbor who always teach me something new. He is a good neighbor very active, strong, sweet and kind.

    Danuelle
    3 Missions Completed
  5. My senior had surgery and is home bound for a few weeks. I listen to her as she shared about learning to sew again while she convulses while home bound.

    Linda
    0 Missions Completed
  6. My dad had a friend pass away very recent. He seemed concerned about the events leading to his his death, so we talked about it. He recalled the details, the timeline and told me his plan for traveling out of town to the funeral. After we talked, I could tell he was more at ease.

    Ann
    4 Missions Completed
  7. I listened to a senior friend who is a caregiver. We gasped, laughed and groaned and laughed so more. We decided to start a Caregiver Coffee at our church once a quarter. TBA

    Libbo
    4 Missions Completed
  8. Went to dinner and spoke with a man about his walking cane. We talked about using a walking stick that helps you stand up straight. He said he really didn’t need a cane (wink, wink), but uses it because people open doors for him. His wife joined in the conversation. Lovely couple.

    Brenda
    3 Missions Completed
  9. I am most needed by my senior husband currently as he is receiving blood transfusions due to the chemo he had been on! Some days he really gets down and I try to find the positive in our lives right now and suggest a movie, dinner out or just something to keep his mind off the situation.

    Nancy Cooksey
    31 Missions Completed
  10. I like to mail cards with little personal notes to some elderly shut in ladies. Their family members tell me how much they enjoy getting mail. One lady told her great granddaughter I was her best friend. I try to send at least once a month plus holidays.

    Joyce
    8 Missions Completed
  11. I regularly mail cards to elderly shut ins. Their family members tell me how much they enjoy getting mail. One lady told her great granddaughter I was her best friend. I send at least once a month plus holidays.

    Joyce
    8 Missions Completed
  12. I listened to a neighbor who just didn’t like that her body didn’t work like it used to, I encouraged her to walk her dog more often.
    She did tonight

    Lisa
    2 Missions Completed
  13. I was talking to a sweet senior lady who lived down my street. She was telling me that she lives alone and has to pay everything herself. Her water was off because she could not pay the bill and she just caught up with her bill. I listened to her and I will try to find some help for her from our council man.

    Gloria
    76 Missions Completed
  14. I make a point to call my senior neighbor and take a walk with her at least once a day. While on our walk, I take the opportunity to ask her about her day, how she is feeling, and who she’s spoken with that day (kids, grandkids, sister, friends). I try to listen carefully and paraphrase back to her what she had said. That gives her the opportunity to either feel validated or recognize that she’s maybe not making the right statements about how she feels. This also gives us the opportunity to let our dogs play, and gives us both the opportunity to just simply laugh!!

    Terri
    3 Missions Completed
  15. Talked with my father in law this morning. My mil passed away 6/1 and he is very lonely. Take a moment out of your day to give someone time.

    Piper
    4 Missions Completed
  16. Just reached out to former coworkers and friends…some are widows and widowers….shouldn’t need a reminder but sometimes we just get busy!

    Kathy
    1 Mission Completed
  17. I sat with my neighbor for two hours while she waits in the emergency room for transfer to an in home care facility. She’s special needs and doesn’t have many people who care to ensure she is given the best care and choices possible.

    Michelle Tachibana
    0 Missions Completed
  18. I work with seniors at an assisted living as a file clerk. Today I came to the aid of one of our residents. She just wanted to talk. We held hands and I sat with her and conversed for a bit. She was so appreciative that I came to see her that she kissed my hand.

    Cynthia
    2 Missions Completed
  19. 👍😊 This is only one care mission event which I’m logging today – because I consider that this mission is really a Lifetime assignment and Commitment of the Heart❣This afternoon I was lucky enough to be outside in my yard (with my own dog), when a spritely older neighbour was walking past with his own jaunty little canine-buddy. We smiled and waved to eachother; and then we joined eachother for a great conversation! Since this summer and all the way through until November-completion: our City is doing an over-the-top MAJOR renovation project, which involves using the most massive – and fascinating! – construction trucks ever dreamed-of by curious little boys, this lovely elderly man and I discussed at length all the details of this project, and how it’s affecting everyone… Literally all of the streets of our city are having to be dug-up with 6-feet-deep trenches, which go the length of all the streets; and then all the original water mains, and all the storm and sewer drains mains’ pipes are removed, and replaced with brand new and separated-systems piping. Later, in the late autumn, the City will REPAVE every single street and road in our city: paving asphalt over all of this intense work being done every summer day from 7:00 a.m. . It’s absolutely incredible and in to 7:00 p.m.! My elderly neighbour – now friend! – and I find this genuinely intriguing to watch!!! He and I both have found that lots of people fuss about the massive machinery’s noise, and the frequent back-up-beeping of the monster trucks; but he and I share an interest in just how this incredibly extensive assignment can even be accomplished! And we laughed together about the let’s-admit-it fact that driving this mega-powerful monster equipment is basically every-little-boy’s dream of “cool” and “thrilling”!!! We’ve both encountered a lovely young mother who brings her adorable just-turned-3 son over most afternoons to explore them while the men take a break – and on break: they talk with the little boy as much as he wants, and then they sit him way up high in the Real Drivers’ Seats; creating lifetime magic-memories for him, as well as extra-special because they are shared with his Mummy! I expressed to this elderly f man that I am convinced that for the workers from the Water District and from the Department of Public Works, this particular project is not so much “just a job”, as, frankly:
    it is quite a “blast” – getting to drive around and really accomplish work and create with these abnormally monster Volvo

    Grace
    1 Mission Completed
  20. Encouraged a senior who was in need of someone to listen about how they were expected to always be there for everyone else.

    Sandra
    1 Mission Completed
  21. I listened to an older women as she wept over the loss of her husband recently. I tried to engage, but sometimes people just need to listen to another’s pain. Totally understandable

    Elizabeth
    2 Missions Completed
  22. Talked with my fil about my mil that passed away on June 1. Mostly listened to him talk about missing her and how he will see her again one day.

    Piper
    4 Missions Completed
  23. Listened to 3 seniors while significant other in surgery. Got a few smiles.

    Kathleen
    15 Missions Completed
  24. I enjoy listening to my elderly neighbor and my father. I get to spend time with the two of them daily. I enjoy learning new things from the both of them. My elders are fun and full of wisdom.

    Danuelle
    3 Missions Completed
  25. I spent about an hour listening to a neighbor who was remembering her husband. He has been gone for 30 years and she just wanted someone to hear about what a wonderful husband he had been

    Cathie
    2 Missions Completed
  26. I work for an amazing company who asks me to join our caregivers and elderly on shifts and I get a chance to listen to everything. Today I got to hear how amazing and thankful she is for her family and our care. She said she couldn’t be more happy. Made my heart smile

    Cori
    7 Missions Completed
  27. Listening even if it makes no sense to me adds depth to my client’s life.

    Russell
    5 Missions Completed
  28. I have discussions about finance, the stock market, politics anything that my clients want to discuss.

    Russell
    5 Missions Completed
  29. My couple that I take care of, we somehow make some kind of joke throughout the day when I’m there. They call me another name a couple times a week, always the same name, but they know I answer which makes them laugh.

    Nicole
    2 Missions Completed
  30. My mother-in-law had an unpleasant experience this evening. I listened and then offered some encouragement and support. I also told her I was sorry that happened to her.

    Donna
    11 Missions Completed
  31. Sitting with my daughter in emerg at the hospital the other evening, it was Monday night, late, an elderly female came in. She sat quietly, no one with her and a blanket wrapped around her. After a while she asked a question. 2am, it would be easy to maybe be tired and be brief, but it became apparent as the conversation went on that she felt she had no friends left, didn’t see many people, didn’t have a lot of connection – and that maybe she needed that and someone to talk to as much as anything. My 14yr old and I listened and talked with her for over an hour while we waited that night. I think health and wellness is so much impacted by our sense of connection and community.

    Cindy
    2 Missions Completed
  32. I spent over 50 minutes listening to a female senior who had a shunt in her brain. It was humbling to hear that she hasnt given up on life with all the challenges she’s faced.

    Chinyere
    3 Missions Completed
  33. I love talking with the elderly, they have so much knowledge to hand down.

    Jennifer
    6 Missions Completed
  34. I get more out of this than they do! Seniors have such inspiring stories.

    Lynn
    3 Missions Completed
  35. I communicate via text with our home bound members, our group name is home bound angels

    Melissa
    4 Missions Completed
  36. As a terminally ill patient & am home bound I very much lending an “ear” via text. I try to make it all about what their current issues are

    Melissa
    4 Missions Completed
  37. I talk to & text my church group that is home bound & just listen & offer encouragement

    Melissa
    4 Missions Completed
  38. I call & text to check in on my church group that is home bound. I just listen & offer encouragement.

    Melissa
    4 Missions Completed
  39. I was interviewed by a Senior at the Nursing home. I allowed her to complete her task. God bless her. I guess this was her last profession.

    Alison
    1 Mission Completed

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