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babysitter < companion

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Sometimes it isn't the word so much as the way you say it, I recently posted a rant on my dislike of elderspeak (the equivalent of baby talk). You know - that high pitched, extra cheerful, dumbed down way of talking.
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jacobsonbob Jul 23, 2018
I've even encountered young dental hygienists who talk this way.
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Diaper-sanitary garment, sanitary underwear, disposables
Bib- apron, covering, crumb catcher, shirt saver

ANY BABY OR CHILD TERM should NOT be used by ME or by PROFESSIONAL CARE GIVERS when caring for my ELDERLY LOVED ONE.

(forgive the rant please, All. I HATE when this happens because LANGUAGE and TERMS OF ADDRESS COUNT!)
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When I lived in the South as a middle-aged adult, young people called me Miz Julie. This felt both respectful and a term of endearment. I think young health care workers and other service providers should use the formal Mrs. Parker unless and until they are invited to use first names. This establishes an environment of mutual respect.

It sets my teeth on edge when the gum-cracking 20-year-old receptionist calls me Hon or Dear. Words matter.
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Ahmijoy Jul 23, 2018
Once in a local ER here in Akron, Ohio, a male nurse persisted in snapping and crackling his gum in my husband’s and my face. He called my (much older than him) hubby “dude” and called me “hon”.

😡
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I don't like Adult Daycare. I prefer Senior Activity Center.
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Isthisrealyreal Jul 25, 2018
I agree, I call it the social club or how about the country club?
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I probably wouldn't use "baby" words with adults.
example: diapers, but then again some of the incontinent products are just large diapers.

Disrespect comes in the tone of voice and your intent. Do you intend to inflict pain or the very least a wince? If NOT, then stick to words you know will not offend.

My mom used to call one grandfather "You old fart." You could hear the joking tone in her voice and he would laugh for 5 minutes. No one would call my other grandfather an old fart, though we would joke about everything, even aging and all that farting that goes along with it.

Would the caregiver or patient take offense at the "baby" part? Many would. Some wouldn't. So to be safe, consider another word.

Some are very concerned about references to aging when they are 35. Some just don't care what words you use when they get past 70.

But the older we get, the more we might command a little respect for what we have come through, and a thoughtful joke or two to bring a little laugh onto the bleak landscape would be appreciated by most.

I think one of the best ways to SHOW your respect to your elders is to ask them questions about their life, what it was like going to school, buying groceries, dating, etc. (not all at the same time) and then really listening to their stories. No, you are not allowed to roll your eyes when they wax poetic about trudging 10 miles through the snowdrifts to get to school.

re: babysitter--companion is good. So would friend, daughter, neighbor, human.
So you say something like, "Mom had to go get her toenails done. So I jumped at the chance to have you all to myself!! Do you remember when we . . . "(You might even pull out a picture or two of the event, or the things needed to play the game you're talking about,) Take a selfie and share it with the family, especially if you're not a relative.

Just think about being kind and the right words will come.
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A person with dementia/Alzheimer's is not demented. They have cognitive impairments or cog disabilities.
A bib should be clothing protector
Diapers are briefs, or underwear or garment.
Babysitter should be helper. Companion is very good too of course
Patients are clients or residents.
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I know there is a lot of squeamishness around toileting and genitalia but I don't think we need to revert to baby talk - going potty instead of to the bathroom, referring to a man's "pee pee", etc. There are perfectly acceptable words that adults should use, and just like you and I the topic shouldn't need to be discussed in public or when there is company.
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jacobsonbob Jul 23, 2018
Although not quite related, this reminds me of something I read a few years ago that I think will merit a laugh or two: A young mother involved with toilet-training her small children answered a telephone call from her husband's boss one morning, but her husband couldn't come to the phone at the moment. The wife inadvertently told the boss that her husband was "on the potty" right now!
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This was a great question, thanks for posting it! And, thanks for all the great replies.

A side note...I don’t know how I’d manage without this website and all of you. Being able to come here to post and read y’all’s comments has helped me “deal with” being a care provider. Again, thanks...lots!
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jjmummert Jul 23, 2018
Agree. It was this site that gave me, a 70 yr old only child who lived 400 miles away, the reasoning and courage to move my mom to a memory care community in my city despite her denial, anger and confusion.
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I personally don’t like diaper. We’re having a hard enough time encouraging my dad now that the bladder accidents are near constant. Underwear seems sufficient, we all know there’s more to it
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Countrymouse Jul 19, 2018
You might like to try gentleman-pants.

I'd better explain. We have a tv advertising campaign running for Tena. I expect you know that Tena Lady is a sub-brand of Tena. The woman doing the voiceover, though, evidently doesn't know that because she stresses the wrong words in her script, so that what should be "Tena Lady pants" comes out as "Tena ladypants." It drives me nuts every time and the campaign's been going for weeks :(

You probably also need to know that in UK dialect pants is short for underpants, as in underwear.

Hm. Or... how about "waterproofs"?
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This is a behaviour I've noticed with just a few of the aides at mom's nursing home; talking about, over and around the residents like they are just pieces of the furniture. Granted many of them are hard of hearing or have dementia but the loud conversation I heard between 2 aides in the dining room today about the toileting of one of the residents should NEVER have happened. What happened to privacy, dignity and respect?
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