Interacting With Elderly Patients as a Medical Assistant

As the Baby Boomer generation prepares for retirement, the number of elderly patients is expected to increase dramatically. In fact, by 2030, 71 million Americans are projected to be over the age of 65. This marks a 200% increase from 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This radical increase can cause big changes in several professions, most of which are in the medical field. Therefore, as a medical assistant, it is essential for you to become more accustomed to interacting with elderly patients. Below is a list of tips and considerations you should be aware of before embarking on your medical career path.

Nurse comforting elderly patient

Remain Patient and Allow for Extra Time

Elderly patients often have a more difficult time communicating and understanding new concepts. They also tend to be more nervous than younger patients when receiving treatment. It is therefore important to remain patient when interacting with them. Moreover, be sure to give them more time and assist them when necessary. Some older patients may require help walking into the examination room, removing clothing, and getting situated on an exam table.

Maintain Focus When Working With Elderly Patients

Older patients may be prone to distractions along with having vision and hearing problems. When working with the elderly, be sure to remain within their line of sight and avoid distractions. Maintaining eye contact can also help enhance their feelings of well-being. Keeping the patient environment quiet and secure is also essential for putting their minds at ease and making them more cooperative.

Communicate Slowly and Be an Attentive Listener

As mentioned, elderly patients may find it difficult to communicate and find the process of explaining their needs frustrating. Therefore, it is important to be an attentive listener and wait for them to finish their thought before making recommendations. Speaking slowly and clearly, in short, simple sentences can make it much easier for elderly patients to understand you. Good communication can establish trust and make examinations easier for everyone concerned.

View Elderly Patients as an Individuals

Although elderly patients might suffer from similar health issues, it is important to remember that each person is different. Some patients may need more attention, while others may need less. As a medical assistant, you must remain alert, attentive, and flexible when making decisions. With more experience, you will sharpen your skills and become more equipped at dealing with a variety of patients.

Get Started on Your Career Today

For more tips and information on how to apply, get in touch with our team here at Montes HealthCare College. Fast-track your education and take the first step toward a new career by getting in touch over the phone or via email. You can reach us at (310) 861-2004 or We look forward to hearing from you!


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