I was looking through some of what I saved on my comp, wondering what I could junk, and came across this.......
"One of the dangers in any kind of eldercare program is that caregivers may “infantilize” the elderly, forgetting that, even with childlike needs, they are still adults, according to Sonia Salari, a specialist in aging and intergenerational issues at the University of Utah. Baby talk, nicknames, scolding, time-outs and silly décor may be appropriate for children, but directed at elderly adults, Ms. Salari argues, they are a form of abuse." This is from here.
I noted this down when I came across it, because this is something I feel strongly about. I have seen various older people (not necessarily very old) in the evenings of their lives and have noticed this tendency to 'infantilize' them. I particularly remember one old lady, who had been one of the earliest gynaecologists, probably, in our state. She had had a stroke and must have been in her late 80s. We were visiting her and I remember somebody was trying to cajole her into eating, just like one would with a small child. This incident must have taken place atleast 20 years ago. I can still remember the look in her eyes, helpless (beause she could no longer talk) at the the indignity she felt.
I tried never to do that with my father during his dementia times. Sometimes it is very difficult, especially when the person does not want to eat the food he/she should, or do something they ought to but won't. It is also very difficult to hold on to your irritation. I absolutely agree on that point and that to keep one's equilibrium, one needs help in dealing with an old person in that stage. But if we would imagine ourselves in that place even once, we might find it easier to treat that older person as an adult (unless of course they have always been the infantile, immature kind of person!).