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or is it just the ones I end up with?


I didn't even talk to my children like children. I never spoke baby talk. I didn't use the sing songy voice. With Mom, I may speak more slowly but I still talk to her like an adult.


When I brought Carol in, it would drive me crazy how she talked to Mom like she was a baby. But, I let it go because Mom seemed OK with it. Now I have two new, additional, caregivers and I have noticed that they both do it as well. Especially the late afternoon one. She might just be showing off for me when I am around but it drives me crazy to watch how she interacts with mom. She does get Mom to smile but to me it looks like Mom's "I'm putting up with you" smile.


When ask Mom about them, she says she likes all three caregivers and won't complain about them.


Is this normal or did I end up with three random people who all do the same thing?

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Grin and bear it seems to be the caregiver's mantra.
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It is a reasonable request but I asked Mom again tonight how she feels about each of them and specifically the way they interact with her and she says she likes them and doesn't notice anything unusual in the way they talk to her. I only see one of them with her at all and that is only for several minutes just before she leaves for the day. I guess I will just cringe and get over it as long as it is not bothering Mom.
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Are you paying these caregivers? If so, I think you have every right to explain to them that the baby talk is driving you crazy and you would like for them to stop it and call your mother by her first name. Baby talk would drive me mad and since you cannot escape these caregivers, it's a reasonable request.
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I'll be honest if my MIL/GMIL is acting like a child I tend to treat her like one. If she is herself ( not dementia 3 yr old on crack and yes that sounds rude.. but well) I talk to her like I would any other person. Her dementia grannie state responds to direct child like talk her normal grannie self does not. It's a fine line. Our PT's/Nurses all refer to her as grannie as that's what she is comfortable with. Not trying to be devils advocate but it really depends on the day and the version of grannie that is there as to how we all respond to her.
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And, maybe that is why I am so annoyed by it. I never spoke to my children or anyone else's children like that. I have always spoken to children in normal tones as if they are adults in tiny little bodies. And, I never tolerated babay talk from my kids either.
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When I took my CNA class, we were taught to call all residents by Mr/Mrs Smith unless the Resident said otherwise. We were never to use "honey" or any other nickname. Baby talk is not professional. I never used it with my kids and would never use it with the elderly.
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Mom is 84. When I am around, her two caregivers in their 50's call her Miss J or Miss Joanna. Not sure what they call her when I am not around but pretty sure it is the same. Her 79 year old caregiver refers to her as simply Joanna but that is fine since they are peers.

And, I too, find "honey" and "sweetheart" disrespectful
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Same post
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mom2mom How is your Mother's caregiver address her? If those caregiver speaks to your Mother "honey or sweetheart".... I tell them to stop, this is respect issue for elderly adult who needs assistant from outside. I'm caregiver for private duty for 3 days a week(72 hours live-in) with 2 other CGs.... one of does baby talk that make me crazy....It is so unprofessional!!!
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Yes, the strokers that CM mentioned. My late afternoon caregiver is the one with the most professional caregiver experience and she is the one who drives me most crazy. She does little cheek strokes like you would to a baby and I cringe.

They are all wonderful and providing great care. And Mom is usually just sitting in her recliner so they all spend the day cleaning just to keep themselves from losing their minds. You would not believe how clean Mom's apartment is. I don't have to lift a finger anymore. Between the three of them, they steam mop the entire unit at least twice a day.

They are a lifesaver and luckily, I only have to listen to them talk baby talk a few minutes a day. I guess if Mom is OK with it, I will just have to be.
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I've only run into this once - the speaking to them like they are children.

It was when my dad was in rehab. I went to sit in on my dads therapy session and the occupational therapist was talking to my dad like he was three years old. I could tell by the look on my dads face that he was trying to be patient with it - I, on the other hand near burst the blood vessels in my head trying not to loose my temper.

So after I returned dad to his room I went back to talk with the therapist. I told her a little bit about my dad and the amazing things he had done in his life - like being a part of the mountain rescue team that got an injured climber off the highest mountain in the United States... And then told her I expected her to talk to and treat my father with respect - he'd earned it!
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Makes you want to box their ears, doesn't it. "My mother is not a developmentally challenged gerbil," you want to point out.

Ugh! And the cuddlers! The hand-grabbers and strokers! Shudder.

Right. Now that I've got that off my chest... My mother liked the blonde girl with waist-length dreadlocks - not dreadlocks. Cornrows, that's it - and too much perfume and an almost unintelligible local accent; the theatrical one with Cleopatra eyeliner and just a whiff of sherry about her but not enough to be sure; and the dainty homeless South African whose back story made my hair stand on end.

I liked Liz the dementia whisperer, and K who was deaf but lip-read like magic and you'd never have known unless you knew.

Pretty much the only one we agreed on was the woman in the polyester tabard who grabbed mother's hand on their first meeting and started on about how much fun they'd have doing jigsaw puzzles together. I don't think my mother's given anyone a look quite like that since her WRAC platoon dropped their pretend "bomb" during a drill inspection.

To be fair... It must be incredibly hard to strike the right balance of warmth and professionalism instantly with someone you don't know from Adam. But yes I do wish with you that they wouldn't resort to saccharine the whole time.

And here, again, is yet ANOTHER argument for continuity of care. Why in heaven's name can the agencies not get their bleedin' rotas sorted out and give their CNAs at least a chance to get to know their clients?
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Ah, I see! Well, I guess if Mom is ok with it, and if it's getting her to talk, then maybe you can buy some earplugs? Not trying to be silly here...I know how hard it is to tolerate things like that when you want to just knock someone over when they behave that way.
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It seems to be fine with Mom. It drives me nuts but Mom responds to them and when I ask her when the caregivers are not around, she has no complaints about it.

I am the supervisor since these three woman are all independently contracted by me so if it is going to be addressed, I will have to do it.

Mom refuses to speak sometimes. She can speak but chooses not to. I usually react by either pretending not to understand her head nods or by flat out telling her off. The afternoon caregiver doesn't want to let her get away with it either so she uses a voice like she is talking to a child, bends down and puts her face near Mom's and says in that sing song voice that she just can't understand and Mom should say it out loud.

Her way is probably better and more compassionate than mine and she is the one who actually gets a response but if I were the elder being spoken to like that, I would punch her in the throat.
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Not everyone does this, and you can address it diplomatically by just asking them not to speak down to Mom like that, and to address her as a fellow adult and respected elder - not a child. If it continues, address it with their supervisor and request a different caregiver if it really bothers you.

Some people can't help themselves - they seem to think the best way to address an elder is by raising their voice to a sing-song pitch and speaking to them like a child. When my mom was in the NH, the very first CNA she came in contact with literally bent at the waist and put her face right up close to Mom's and spoke to her in that manner. The action, coupled with the voice ticked Mom right off and she told her in no uncertain terms NOT to speak to her that way, that she was not a child.
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