Don’t call me sweetie

Older patients find “elderspeak” condescending, and worse, research shows it may be associated with shorter lifespans:

Dr. Williams said health care workers often thought that using words like “dear” or “sweetie” conveyed that they cared and made them easier to understand. “But they don’t realize the implications,” she said, “that it’s also giving messages to older adults that they’re incompetent.”

Some nursing home patients go Tarantino on their medical providers, making them think twice about speaking down to them:

To avoid stereotyping, Ms. Kirschman said, she often sprinkles her conversation with profanities when she is among people who do not know her. “That makes them think, This is someone to be reckoned with,” she said. “A little sharpness seems to help.”

Something to think about when seeing the elderly.