I just read an article about "elderspeak" and how patronizing and negative it is to speak to someone this way. I used to speak like I would to everyone but now her mind is like a 2 year old. She'd rather eat with her fingers and doesn't let me feed her hand under hand. We are at a stage where while she will do the introductory chit chat with people she doesn't know, she will babble, get into things, destroy things if allowed similar to a child.
She babbles at her stuffed animals like a child would play with toys and gets upset if we move them. Years ago she was still behaving like an adult. Now unless I speak slower and in a more calming and encouraging way she will just stare at me. If I say "we need to take your pills now sweetie" and guide her through it then I have luck. If I approach her with the same tone I would an adult she screams and is defiant. I have cared for other elderly patients and have never spoken to them this way. I feel though in this case she wants this. She tears her diapers and smears what's inside all over if I let her..this isn't the mind of an adult anymore. I felt a little insulted by that article. It's not lack of respect for her that makes me talk this way. It's her stage. I believe if a loved one is functioning on some level then of course you should speak to them as you would an older adult. But what do you do if babying them is the only way they respond?