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To feel annoyed by language

(76 Posts)
MiceElf Sun 08-Jun-14 09:04:56

Which infantilises the very old?

There is, at the moment, a 'hearwarming' story of a former Lieutenant in the RN and Mayor of Brighton who decided to travel to Normandy to join the D Day commemoration.

The first comment I heard on the television was that he had 'escaped' and that he had been 'banned'. Subsequently the story was modified but still the patronising phrases continue.

'Jaunt across the channel' 'He's got a lot of charm with the ladies' 'exploits' 'old people behaving like naughty children' 'cheeky trip' and 'ah, bless'.

I find the condescending tone quite unpleasant. If he were 50 instead if 89 it would, if reported at all, be a one liner saying that a distinguished war veteran had attended the commemoration in Normandy.

HollyDaze Sun 08-Jun-14 09:12:19

I didn't find the report offensive, it certainly made me smile though - especially the big, beaming grin on his face. I think many of the terms were used simply for comedic effect to a report that was meant to be both lighthearted and showing that age is no barrier (to some) when they really want to be a part of something and no offence was really intended.

ninathenana Sun 08-Jun-14 09:13:12

Fare comment MiceElf

Anniebach Sun 08-Jun-14 09:21:09

I was so cross with the reporting , do they say of the queen who is only a little younger , she is a cheeky little madam etc, this man was spoken of as if he was a naughty child , all was needed was someone to tickle his chin or pat his head. As for the owner of the care home ' we got him a new blazer' , he shouldn't speak of a resident to the press.

I am just really cross about this

kittylester Sun 08-Jun-14 09:21:38

I said exactly the same to DH this morning MiceElf

kittylester Sun 08-Jun-14 09:22:34

I said exactly the same to DH this morning MiceElf

kittylester Sun 08-Jun-14 09:23:07

Twice, obviously grin

Brendawymms Sun 08-Jun-14 09:23:25

This gentleman had the ability to get to France on his own with apparently no trouble. Therefore he is 'rational' and therefore able to make any decisions he likes however strange or not they appear to others. No one had the right therefore to stop him leaving the home or doing what he wanted. He should have told the home he was going and the fact he didn't makes me wonder if he feared they would stop him. If that is the case then the home should have it clearly explained to them the rights of the residents who are competent to act in any way they like. I don't think it reflects well on the home although as they did not know where he was were correct in reporting him missing to police.
It really annoys me that some people consider others over a certain age as being unable to make their own decisions.

Agus Sun 08-Jun-14 09:58:17

I felt the same when I heard the report yesterday but I was angry that he had to resort to those measures. Sure someone could have arranged for him to make this trip when it was clear that he was going to miss the opportunity of a trip that was so important to him.

Lilygran Sun 08-Jun-14 10:04:00

They interviewed the manager of the home on Today after the story appeared in the press. They had tried to arrange for him to go on an official trip (he hadn't done so himself) but it was too late, so he went off as an individual. On the boat, he met an official group from Brighton and joined them. The organiser's wife knew the people at the home and rang them to say he was with them. The manager further said, 'This is the residents' home. They come and go as they wish'.

kittylester Sun 08-Jun-14 10:10:16

His wife didn't know where he was either! grin

MiceElf Sun 08-Jun-14 10:17:13

The care home seems to have acted appropriately, thank you Lilygran. Apparently he told his wife that he was going, they just chose not to inform the care home. Perhaps a little careless but that's all.

I get the impression that 90% of the reported 'facts' and comments are generated by lazy journalists who will never allow the truth to get in the way of good cliché.

whenim64 Sun 08-Jun-14 10:28:47

Huge distortions by the media - he discussed going and the staff at the home had helped him choose a new jacket to put his medals on. Someone let the home know he was with them, as he hadn't said he'd definitely decided to go when he left. He wants to go next year and the manager of the home, an ex-serviceman himself, intends to go along with him. I agree with MiceElf that this condescennding tone is unpleasant. Try that attitude with me and they'd soon find out whether I was prepared to be spoken about as if I was an infant with no ability to advocate for myself!

Agus Sun 08-Jun-14 10:35:16

This has just served to remind me why I no longer pay attention to meedya news!

Eloethan Sun 08-Jun-14 11:36:04

I agree MiceElf. The media seems to adopt this approach when talking to, or about, older people and it encourages everyone to think about an older person as either "a bit of a character" or "doolally". It can also become a self-fulfilling prophecy - "I am behaving in this way because that's the way old people behave".

It is true that, for many, increasing age brings increasing challenges but I don't see why an elderly person overcoming these challenges should be portrayed for "comedic effect". If any other group of people were represented in such a condescending way, I think most people would find it unacceptable.

Atqui Sun 08-Jun-14 12:07:52

So agree with you*Micelf*. It happens to frequently, especially in medical establishments, where people are called dear and darling as though they were 5.

Marelli Sun 08-Jun-14 17:43:01

And he didn't need a cuddle from the staff-member, either, on his return. I feel this was so 'staged', and I bet he hated it.

petallus Sun 08-Jun-14 18:47:02

I don't like the way older people are patronised by younger folk, although I suppose they mean well.

The other day I was walking along with one of our neighbours and I took out my phone to switch it off and she shouted 'oooh, look at the modern phone!' in tones of wonderment and amusement that someone as decrepid as myself (71) had a Blackberry.

I don't think it can easily be avoided. Getting stroppy about it isn't going to make much difference really.

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 08-Jun-14 19:05:33

I don't think I will mind a friendly arm round my shoulder when I am really old, or a bit of concern shown for my welfare. I doubt if he minded. He had already "shown 'em". smile

You can't blame the care home for wanting to come out of it well. They are amongst the top ten care homes in the country.

mcem Sun 08-Jun-14 19:48:50

Was disgusted to see a Facebook post asking for 'likes' for this gentleman -posted by BNP! He ( and my father amongst others) fought to defeat the likes of BNP.

annodomini Sun 08-Jun-14 20:02:52

That really shocked me too,, mcem. Talk about opportunism!

Nelliemoser Sun 08-Jun-14 20:29:31

If he is capable of getting out by himself and getting as far as he did I wonder why he is living in a care home at all.

Ana Sun 08-Jun-14 20:33:30

You've got a point there, Nelliemoser - especially as he has a wife (not saying she should necessarily have to look after him, but still...).

Deedaa Sun 08-Jun-14 20:37:57

The item I read said that it was his wife who had had to go into the home and he had moved in there with her.

Ana Sun 08-Jun-14 20:53:47

Oh, I see, sorry - serves me right for just going on what's been said on this thread!