I was relaxing and watching a movie with my family a couple of days back and wound up in a phone conversation that was a good 15 minutes worth of instruction, direction, and consult from my vast knowledge of the plumbing genre. When advice is given in certain professional situations such as this, caution should be first priority in knowing who you are giving the potentially dangerous information to, and, are they sharp enough to follow through with any action involved in the direction(s) without someone getting hurt or killed? I did not exercise this caution and will be extremely lucky if law suits are not pending from the outcome of my client not following directions - if he was even listening.
As a favor to you - my reader(s?) I have organized a list for ease of giving direction(s) that may help curtail any errors or lack of attentiveness and keep you out of this dilemma --
1. Organize and simplify the directions:
Keep the directions as simply stated as possible so that your Father-in-law can remember them easily and not get lost in your words. Make the most important information stand out. "Stan, I want you to get your jacket, get your backpack and put on your shoes, then come back here to me. Got that? Jacket, backpack, shoes. Go!"2. Use multisensory strategies to help the memory:
- You can sing and dance the directions with your Father-in-law. "jacket, backpack, shoes, yee-hah!"
- You can have your Father-in-law clap his hands or tap the table for each step he needs to do.
3. Teach your Father-in-law to repeat the directions:
Have your Father-in-law repeat each direction a few times. "get out a piece of paper, a pencil and write my name at the top of the paper. Paper, pencil, name. Paper, pencil, name..."
4. Make charts for procedures or routines that are repeated:
This is especially helpful for organizing and keeping a routine. For example, if you have a list of items that need to be done each day before work you can create a checklist.
As your Father-in-law completes a step, he/she can check that step off the list. This will give your Father-in-law some direction and keep the attention on the task at hand.
- _____ make my bed.
- _____ put dirty clothes in the hamper.
- _____ feed the cat.
- ____find pants.
5. Be supportive and stay positive:
Nagging your Father-in-law is not going to assist them in learning strategies and skills to follow directions. You can provide support for your Father-in-law by:
- prompting your Father-in-law for listening skills. "I am going to give you the directions, I would like you to please look at me so I know you are listening."
- asking your Father-in-law how you can provide a reminder for them without nagging them. He might suggest a hand gesture or a tap on the wall, a wink of the eye, etc
- offering understanding when your Father-in-law feels frustration. " I understand it is hard to keep track of doing so much at once. Would you like me to help you put together a list that we could start checking off after each step?".....right....
- praising your Father-in-law often. If he didn't complete the task praise him for making an effort. If your Father-in-law fails to complete a task, encourage him to try to get it finished. Use positive encouragement.
If you would like to help me keep from court hearings,
please send flowers and good wishes for a speedy recovery
to the burn victim at this web page. Please mention my blog
and my good intent in the note. Thank you.