Be approachable and friendly and find some common connection. I am also referred to as the chocolate angel in my department. I buy Lindor chocolates every week and for those that can have a piece it makes them smile ear to ear. Be concerned and listen to them. Sometimes they just want someone to listen to them and talk to them like a regular human being not a patient. Best wishes!
Have empathy - be kind
Some will always be grumpy that is their personality, respect their space an within time they might just open up.
Geriatric patients are usually grumpy because they are in an unfamiliar environment, alone and are usually cold. A warm blanket goes a long way. Also new medication prescribed inpatient can produce side effects that can cause agitation and hallucinations. Be kind and understanding, determine what their needs are and meet those needs.
Find something that you may have in common
Firm handshakes for the men, smiles for the women. Speak plainly, yet firmly and to the point. Given them time and listen to them.
Ask about family. Ask them where they grew up. Be interested in where there life has taken them. Anyway that’s what I do and it almost always helps
Remember that you are probably dealing with a person who is ill, stressed, perhaps alone in these times of Covid. Be pleasant and nonjudgmental. Do small things that show you care. Allow them to talk and ask questions. I have always had patients who said they told me things they had never told anyone else. Older people have years of lived experience which can be valuable to share. I have always preferred older adults as patients. Also, keep in mind they could be depressed. Do screening for depression.
Treat them like real people, not like children. Treat them with the respect they deserve. Ask them about their lives - most everyone loves to talk about themselves.
They are probably grumpy because they have lost so much control over their own lives. Give them back some control. Instead of going in and saying, "It's time for your bath now." Go in and say, "We have to get your bath done today. Would you like it this morning or this afternoon?" Give them some control in any little thing that you can.
If this is not a constantly grumpy geriatric, I say try to get them to tell you what they’re interested in and do that with them. Sometimes they’ll come out of the grump sometimes they won’t, but I hope you have good luck!
Respect them and be as honest as possible. And tell them you’ll be back in five minutes and MEAN IT! Listen to them, let them know you’re not there to judge them and force them into anything. You are there to help them make the best choices. Give them the information! I find SOOOOO many times when dealing with a “grumpy” resident, if I explain the reason they are MUCH more inclined to comply. I know we don’t have time some days, but sometimes if you take the time today, tomorrow goes faster.
Try your best to find out if there is anything wrong or or if they need anything that you can get for them. Try cpliments offer nourishment, let them know that you are there for them, assess for s/s of pain, investigate last BM, check chart for history/clues. Get input from their family/staff of patients' likes/dislikes, and hobbies. Ask if they have grandchildren or a pet. Check urine and if medicine has been stopped/added. If none of these help, do not take it personal.
I find that any kind of music helps with the grumpier patients. One would be surprised that even the Azheimer patient will respond to music.
Think about how their lives have changed, the losses they have endured - family, friends, colleagues, etc., the radical changes in their physical and mental health, changes in lifestyle and residence. This is monumental. Ask them to reminisce with you; talk about their spouses, chuildren, grandchildren, pets, travels, favorite restaurants. Even if someone suffers from dementia he/she usually has their long-term memory and can speak in detail about those special aspects of their lives. Just be patient and take the time and listen. Find out about special treats they enjoy - perhaps bring them a treat, if allowed.
I just keep talking like I normally would and a lot of the time they will quiet down and talk to me normally