Communicating with Older Adults

Publication Series

GSA offers the Communicating with Older Adults publication series. Each installment is intended for any professional who seeks to have the best possible interactions with older adults. They cover the broad range of communication issues experienced by older adults and health care providers, and give concrete suggestions for dealing with problems when they arise.

Current Titles

  • Communicating with Older Adults: An Evidence-Based Review of What Really Works
  • Communicating with Older Adults: Recognizing Hidden Traps in Health Care Decision Making

Video Vignette

Effective communication is the foundation upon which all positive patient care interactions are based. But changes in vision, hearing, and cognitive processing can present challenges to effective communication between health care providers and older adults. A three-minute video from GSA details examples of major communication challenges and specific recommendations to overcome them. The recommendations are based on GSA’s highly popular publication "Communicating with Older Adults: An Evidence-based Review of What Really Works." The video is intended for any healthcare professional that interacts with older adults and was supported by Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.

Silver Market Training Modules

At present, older adults account for 34 percent of all prescription drug use and 30 percent of over-the-counter drug use. The U.S. Administration on Aging forecasts that nearly one in five Americans will be 65 or older by 2030. And according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of older adults currently are unable to understand the information given to them about their prescription medications.

GSA is now offering its members free access to several online training modules designed to help pharmacy professionals meet the needs of their aging patients. And while these tools are geared toward pharmacists and other support staff, they can be useful to any gerontologists seeking to have optimal interaction with the aging population. Collectively known as The Silver Market Community Pharmacy series, each installment runs less than 25 minutes and offers expert information and time-tested techniques to help pharmacists and technicians work efficiently and respectfully across the counter.

GSA developed the modules with support from several partners, including McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Novartis Consumer Health, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, and Purdue Pharma. GSA’s technology partner in hosting the series is LearnSomething, Inc.

Current Titles

To access the modules, click here.

Note: You must be a logged in as a member for the free access codes to appear on this page. Non-members may access the modules for a fee. The following titles are available:

  • Pain Management and Older Adults
  • Communicating Effectively With Older Adults: What Really Works. The Basics of Aging and Communication
  • Communicating Effectively With Older Adults: What Really Works. Improving Face-to-Face Communication with Older Adults II: Medication Safety
  • Communicating with Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Communicating Effectively With Older Adults: What Really Works. Older Adult Diversity
  • Communicating Effectively With Older Adults: OTC Medication Reconciliation
  • Improving Face-to-Face Communication with Older Adults: Medication Adherence
  • Communicating Effectively With Older Adults: Sleep Health and Sleep Disturbance
  • Communicating Effectively With Older Adults: Older Adults and OTC Sleep Aids