Sunday, March 26, 2017

"They value a person in a sort of inherent way."

If you have elderly relatives or care for the elderly, this is good. A post at Mirabilis referred me to this: "Nuns model skillful ways to speak to ill seniors." From the article:
.... The nuns rarely used "elderspeak" — a loud, slow, simple, patronizing and common form of baby talk for seniors.

Instead, Corwin reports, they told jokes, stories and blessed the sick nuns, all the while speaking to them like they were completely capable, even though their ability to communicate was significantly diminished. ....

The nuns in the infirmary suffered from dementia, Alzheimer's disease, aphasia, stroke and neurological deterioration, and all had limited or impaired communication abilities. ....

Elderspeak, often punctuated with terms of endearment like sweetie and dear, can communicate a message of incompetence to patients and can lead to a downward spiral of social isolation and cognitive decline, previous studies have shown. ....

"There's really something about the way the nuns see their older peers that I think is motivating these linguistic interactions," Corwin said. "They see these older adults, even when they're lying in bed moaning and can't move, as not being reduced by these chronic conditions but still as whole individuals."