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Caregiver nuns model skillful ways to speak to infirm seniors
by Ronnie Cohen
Reuters Translate This Article
24 March 2017
On 24 March 2017 Reuters reported:
The sisters caring for cognitively impaired elderly nuns in a Midwestern convent spoke to their care recipients in a way that sounded strikingly different to linguistic anthropologist Anna Corwin. The nuns rarely used 'elderspeak' -- a loud, slow, simple, patronizing and common form of baby talk for seniors. Instead, Corwin reports, they told jokes, stories and blessed the sick nuns, all the while speaking to them like they were completely capable, even though their ability to communicate was significantly diminished. 'It is beautiful watching these nuns,' Corwin, a professor at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga, said in a phone interview. 'They accept decline. They value a person in a sort of inherent way.'
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