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Вітаємо вас у Довіднику безбар’єрності

«У комунікації приховано набагато більше сенсів, ніж нам здається. Цей Довідник допоможе розкрити нові, додаткові смисли, коли в центрі уваги – людина та її різноманіття. І це стане першим кроком у формуванні нової етики спілкування».

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Олена Зеленська

How to persuade an older person to go down into the bomb shelter

06.03.2022

  1. Discuss your route to the shelter in advance. Because their nervous system works a little slower, older people need more time to decide or agree to something. So, it’s best to discuss why you need to go down into a bomb shelter in case of an air raid in advance. You should calmly explain what you’re going to do in case of an air raid, explain what each member of the household will need to do, and give the older person a specific task they can help with. This’ll help them feel more useful, and not like a burden.

You can ask the older person to help you carry a blanket, keep an eye on your family pet, or help carry a lightweight bag. This way you’ll have an extra reason why the older person should follow you to the bomb shelter.

  1. Older people sometimes react to dangerous situations by claiming that they “have already lived a full life” or “don’t matter anymore”. This doesn’t mean the person has given up on life or seriously thinks their safety doesn’t matter anymore. It’s just a defensive mechanism that helps shield the psyche from pain, anxiety, fear, and other unpleasant emotions. Therefore you shouldn’t pay attention to such words – just calmly continue helping the person gather their belongings or put on their coat to leave for the bomb shelter, guide them to the exit. Help the person understand that you’re not going to leave them in danger. However, arguing or appealing to their rationale won’t help. So just ignore their words and calmly continue helping the person go down into the bomb shelter.
  2. If the older person starts acting in an aggressive manner (this has also been known to happen) – stay calm and refrain from attempts to calm them down or argue back. This is simply a defensive mechanism which helps deal with the fear and pain.

Allow the person about 30-60 seconds to calm down. Meanwhile, continue packing your belongings or putting on your coat and shoes. After this, calmly repeat that you’re going to the bomb shelter, remind the person of your plans and the route you’ll be taking, and remind them that seeing them in safety is important to you. Try to remain calm and speak clearly.

This will help you calm the person down and make them feel sure of themselves and in control once more. Once they start following you to the bomb shelter, or once they have returned from it after the air raid is over, thank them for agreeing to do so.

  1. Don’t forget about the older person’s needs once you are in the shelter. Stress and fear can make a person forget to dress warmly or take their medicine to the bomb shelter. Remind the older person about these things or help them pack their belongings. To help the older person stay focused, calmly narrate what you are doing. Say things like “we are going outside now” or “we need to go this way”.
  2. Keep reminding them how important it is for you to know they are safe and beside you. Thank them for staying with you and remind them that you feel much calmer when they are around.

* Suggestions from Yulia Pavlova, psychologist and transformation coach, communications and emotional intelligence expert.

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