Old Age Pensioners Not Being Talked Down To Enough Like Children, Finds Study
VERBALLY talking down to old age pensioners like children is at an all time low in Ireland, with only one in three here reporting condescending behaviour towards them, research suggests.
A poll of almost 1,000 65 to 100-year-olds, commissioned by age action Ireland, reveals that a whopping 66pc of OAP’s are being treated normally – like fully functioning adults.
The findings also show that around one in seven (14pc) of all the OAP’s surveyed said that they had considered pretending to be unwell or hard of hearing in a bid to get some extra attention from family and friends.
“There is nothing better than someone fussing over you like a child.” said Rita Kennedy (78). “I feel like I’ve been neglected lately. Sometimes I pretend I can’t do simple everyday things, like crossing the road. It’s great when someone helps me out and talks to me like I’m a five year old.”
James Tobin, chairman of Age Action Ireland said the results highlight how much of a problem talking to old people like adults is.
“Sometimes there’s a tendency to treat old people like they’re coherent, able bodied human beings.” he said. “This can give them a false sense of security and lead to extreme confidence in their own abilities in later life. This is wrong as old people should be fairly shit at everything.”
He said that condescending behaviour should start in the home, and urged family members of old people to just pretend they’re dealing with a toddler that’s hard of hearing.
“The best way to speak to them is with a patronising tone. Keep it loud and simple – as if not to confuse their rotting brains.” he added.