“The doctors talk to me like I’m an old man,” my uncle grumbled.“Mike,” said my aunt. “You’re 92. You are an old man.”
“I know,” he said, “but no one wants to be talked to like they’re an old man.”
The blog below is from guest blogger, Karen Austen.
About a year after I started volunteering at a skilled nursing home, I observed a set of new teenaged volunteers who came to help with a craft at the monthly meeting of the Red Hat Society. I heard several of the volunteers speak slowly and loudly, using a sing-song voice. In response, I saw many of the residents roll their eyes.
Unfortunately, I had flashbacks to when I also first started as a volunteer. I altered my speech inappropriately as well, hoping to be supportive but coming off as patronizing instead.
I have since learned to identify the features of elderspeak. Continue reading