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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 reassure older people during missile strikes

09.03.2022

  1. It’s vital to plan ahead: discuss your plan of action during an air raid: where you’ll find shelter, what belongings you’ll need to take with you, and what each household member will oversee. The better an older person is prepared for an air raid, the easier it will be for them to stay calm during the event.

Cognitive functions slow down as we age, which is why it’s important for elderly people to get used to worrying information and process it. So even if the town or village you are in is relatively peaceful, it is wise to plan ahead in case of an air raid.

  1. People of all ages find it easier to stay calm in stressful situations when they have specific tasks. You can ask an elderly person to help carry lightweight belongings such as a blanket, keep an eye on children or a pet. These tasks don’t need to be difficult, but they should feel important. This will help the person feel that they are in control of a certain situation, which creates a feeling of safety.
  2. The memory of most older people is focused on the past, they usually remember events from their childhood or adolescence the most clearly. Ask them (or have your children do so) about events from the past: where they used to go on holiday, what fond memories they have from their birthdays, etc. Talking about pleasant memories helps create a feeling of comfort and safety, improves our mood, and lowers stress levels.

Asking older people to share memories from their past helps keep both them and younger children busy.

  1. If the elderly person feels comfortable with you doing so, hold their hand or give them a light hug. Light physical touch such as soft stroking or patting helps comfort people. If the person you are comforting looks shell shocked or about to cry, wrap your arms around their shoulders and gently rock them from side to side or backwards and forwards. Movements such as these help comfort people.
  2. Make sure the person stays well hydrated. This is important for people of all ages – acute stress often leads to dehydration. If you have water or tea, share it.
  3. Explain your actions in a calm, level voice. Say things such as “I’m going to give you some water”, “I’m going to hug you” or “we’re going to sit down over here”. As their nervous reactions are often slower, elderly people may lose focus or become disoriented. Your voice and clear instructions will help them handle stress better.

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

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