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Understanding Elderspeak from the Perspective of Certified Nursing Assistants

Journal Article
November 3, 2015

This article draws from surveys of more than two dozen certified nursing assistants (CNAs) about their use of “elderspeak,” a patronizing way of speaking to older people as if they were children. The CNAs reported that they used elderspeak to make elders feel more comfortable and to seem friendlier themselves. Several reported that they were more likely to use elderspeak with elders who have dementia. Some CNAs responded that they felt elderspeak was never appropriate to use.

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Key Takeaways

"Elderspeak is a form of patronizing speech that is often used with older adults."
"The study attempted to learn more about the conditions under which elderspeak is used as well as its intent."
"The findings may have implications for improving training and education programs for CNAs and other long-term care professionals."

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