Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Talk normal, please

Fervent and loyal blog readers may have been in a home for the elderly.
And may have observed how the nurses deal with the older persons.
They often talk to them as if they were children.
“How did we sleep last night?”

"Granny doesn’t want to finish her plate today?”

“Grandpa needs to do pee-pee maybe?”

It seems it is thought that the elder persons suffer of infantility and must therefore talked to as if they were tots.
Men and women with a whole life behind them approached with baby-language.

We now must turn our attention to Ms. Becca Levy, a scientist from Yale University.
She researched 660 persons of over 50 years old.
Ms. Becca Levy found out that to treat older people as if they were children results in them having stress.
This stress is so bad that it makes them die 7,5 years earlier than older people that are not treated like children.
This is very remarkable.
It is for many people just common sense not to infantilize older persons.
Hence, it is a strange twist in the mind to turn communication into diaper simplicity when talking to an older person.
Often observed also when it concerns physically challenged persons.

It makes sense to write the conclusion of the research of Ms. Becca Levy on a big panel and put this in every home of the elderly.
To give them the opportunity to enjoy life almost 8 more years.

Now that Ms. Becca Levy has finished her research about the elderly, she is offered the idea to do a similar research among children.

For years now, when this permanent pilgrim meets children, he doesn’t talk to them in a childish way.
A language and intonation is used like when speaking to adults.
Of course complicated words are avoided but principally the conversation is similar as to any person.
When children notice you take time for them and that you take them serious, they are not surprised the adult talks to them in a normal way.
They immediately adapt and say things that make very much sense.

This approach will not have influence on their life span.
But it is believed it is having a positive influence on the development of their brains.
And on their self-esteem.

So, let’s agree to talk to all of us normally.


To learn more about the research of Ms. Becca Levy, click on:


No comments: