A Case Study of Resistiveness to Care and Elderspeak

by Cunningham J, Williams KN, Elizabeth Layton Center, Ottawa, KS, USA, Res Theory Nurs Pract. 2007;21(1):45-56; PMID: 17378464 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] . This case study evaluated behavioral responses of nursing home residents with dementia to nursing staff use of elderspeak communication (infantilizing speech), and found that use of such “baby talk” significantly increases resistiveness to care among these elderly. This is a significant finding, because resistiveness to care by persons with dementia significantly adds to subjective and objective burden for caregivers. Since it may be triggered by environmental factors, including communication, improved communication skills and avoidance of “elderspeak” can help diminish resistance to care or non-compliance among elderly dementia patients.

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