Short responses by Caregiver: Short responses encourage the patient to continue the conversation. Sometimes just nodding in agreement, saying, "I understand" or just an "uh huh" is all that is needed. These responses should indicate to the patient that you acknowledge and understand what they are expressing. It also lets the patient know that you are attentively listening and participating in the conversation.
Let your patient lead the conversation: Let your patient lead the conversation. If your client feels that you truly listen, their trust in you will build. Then, when they really have something important going on, he/she won't be afraid to confide in you. You may be able to start the patient talking by making simple observations, such as, "You seem tense today." Or "You're quiet this evening." Allowing the patient to direct the conversation gives the caregiver insight into what is on the patient's mind, and allows the patient to voice concerns, worries, or just feel less alone.