These are just some of the many responses we received
from our Editorial of
07/11/07 - Playing Kvetch
absolutely a believer in the idea that words DO
matter. I work primarily in the field of Alzheimer's
disease (AD), so there are many phrases I object to.
People without AD are said to be mobile or to walk;
people with AD are said to wander. People without AD
are said to get tired at the end of the day; people
with AD are said to sundown. I am on a personal
crusade to stop using words for people with AD that
make their behavior sound bizarre, and I could write
at length about the topic. However, my number one
bothersome phrase is "victim." I never use "victim"
to describe either the person with the disease or
the caregiver, because it is a hopeless and
powerless word defined by misery. Each of us must
face obstacles in life that perhaps we would not
wish to face, but there are always gifts wrapped
within the barbed wire of disease; for me, they have
been the amazing network of friends and colleagues
who are sharing the journey and who uplift me when I
"Caretaker" instead of "caregiver."
You should get some help.
I so enjoy your newsletter every
week, and this week's really hit a nerve! I am a
caregiver for my 2-year-older sister (she's 82) who
suffers from Alzheimer's. She has lived with me
since 1993 and began deteriorating about 3 years
ago. Since she has been with me that length of time,
and her grown children are still busy raising
children and working full-time (both husbands and
wives) I have chosen to care for her. I know her
better than they do at this time in her life. Her
oldest son expresses concern about the "burden" this
is for me. I am healthy and active and I am my
sister's sister! Where's the "burden"? I consider it
a privilege to be able to care for her and make sure
her life is as comfortable as possible. I do get
respite care once a week, and, as time goes on, will
be able to tap into the agency (Right at Home of Des
Moines) for more help, as needed. I agree with you
and all the others. "Burden" is a real misnomer for
the caring we are able to give whole-heartedly.
Thanks for all the valuable info you present every
week! Keep on keeping on!
My problem is with the use of the word "diaper" when
used with an incontinent adult. Why can't one say
"disposable underwear"? That is what it is and maybe
the comedians will have a harder time making jokes
about them then.
Thanks for the chance to vent
Thanks for the kvetch about
parenting parents or role reversal. I cringe every
time I hear that. Also, the caregiver burden is
another one I agree on. Another bothersome phrase is
"behaving just like children". Why don't we
understand that childhood is not the only time in
life that we may need others to help with functional
activities of daily living. Why do we always compare
these needs to childhood? How about "maintaining
your independence" - why don't we talk about
interdependence- how we need each other and depend
on each other in different ways. Thanks for allowing
me this opportunity to kvetch about bothersome
phrases and gifting me with this new term.
Ida O Nezey, MS, CFLE, FT,
Use of medical terms to identify
someone………Handicapped, Retarded, Wheelchair Bound
People first language identifies the person first -
Bob has a physical disability
Tim uses a wheelchair for mobility
Andrew has Mental retardation
These are just a few…….
I have been a caregiver for my son all of his life
and he is now 22 years old.
One of the phrases I have
trouble with is CAREGIVER.
The care I give my husband is as
a WIFE and out of love. When I first heard the term
caregiver I thought a professional who cares for
patients in a hospital or nursing home, or maybe
even in the patient's home. I even thought of
caretaker as someone who takes care of a garden and
lawn. The term caregiver is too impersonal and
clinical to fit that of a loving wife or parent,
etc. I certainly do not see myself in that kind of
roll, even though I have now become more comfortable
with the term.