Talking Health With Seniors [Video - 16:25] (2012)

This video, prepared by the PEI Literacy Alliance, uses two scenarios to illustrate the importance of plain language and clear communication between doctors and senior citizens. In each case, actors play roles based on the kinds of situations that arise often in the medical system.

In the first, an elderly woman with several chronic conditions visits her doctor. He stands during the whole appointment, seldom makes eye contact, mentions several times that he’s busy, and prescribes or changes medications without explaining why or exploring alternatives. The patient is too shy to ask questions or tell him that she is intimidated by the medical terminology.

With the help of her adult daughter, the woman is eventually able to tell the doctor that she has trouble communicating with him. He takes her concerns to heart and develops a more effective style of communication.

In the second scenario, an elderly man is waiting for his doctor to deliver the results of a round of medical tests. Using big words and a great deal of medical jargon, the doctor tells the patient he has Type 2 diabetes. While the patient doesn’t speak much, viewers can hear the thoughts that are racing through his head, which show how worried he is and how little he knows about managing the condition.

He is referred to the Diabetes Program of PEI, where a sympathetic employee explains the condition and helps him understand the lifestyle changes he must make.

A family physician narrates the video and offers advice on communication skills for doctors.

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APA citation
PEI Literacy Alliance. Talking Health With Seniors [Video - 16:25] 2012. Web. 16 Apr. 2021 <>
PEI Literacy Alliance (2012). Talking Health With Seniors [Video - 16:25]. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from
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