One of my top peeves is when speakers, journalists and others refer to an Alzheimer’s patient instead of a person with Alzheimer’s, or individual with dementia. (The vast majority of people with Alzheimer’s are cared for at home, so how does that qualify them as a patient?!) Though language is not easily nailed down or put in a box — some websites I write for have edited my work to say “elderly” instead of my choice of “senior” or “elder” — our group took on the topic and discussed media image, sensitivity, stage vs. age, and ultimately, the need for change in many areas of the dialogue. Special thanks to @Parentgiving and @HHStaff for recommending the topic!
The following questions took us through the hour:
Q1. What stereotypes, stigmas and terms regarding older adults bother you the most?
Q2: What language should the media use when referring to older adults?
Q3: In what ways does the media’s portrayal of aging and older adults need to change?
Q4: A controversial Superbowl commercial showed seniors living a wild life. How does advertising’s portrayal of seniors need to change?
Q5: In assisted living or in a home care situation, how should care providers address carees?
Q6: A Psychology.com article talked about referring to stages of life rather than ages, since longevity has increased. Thoughts?
Q7: An NPR article questioned the use of “elderly” after a reporter’s headline included it — to many readers’ dismay. Thoughts?
Q8: What do the older adults in your circles (work, home, etc.) prefer to be called?
Check out these highlights:
Review the wealth of resources, insights and ideas shared here, via the full chat transcript (thanks to @ctffox of The Fox Group for providing this invaluable service). Analytics are available too; click here to see who attended.
Don’t miss our next chat: Wednesday, April 3rd at 1pm ET. Please note that we meet only on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, so there are no more chats scheduled for March. Anyone who is interested in and passionate about eldercare issues can join our chat, anytime. Prior participation is not required, nor is there a need to stay for the full hour.
If the “real-time” frame doesn’t sync with your schedule, or if you feel that your question or idea requires well beyond 140 characters, start a discussion thread on our LinkedIn page or use the #eldercarechat hashtag. The LinkedIn group is also a great place to continue previous discussions, connect with those who share similar interests, or talk about the services that you, or the company you represent, have to offer.