Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Patronising professionals

You could fill a blog with them.  The latest one to use this particularly annoying example was a psychiatrist.  'And what tablets is she taking?'  We've had it all before: 'Do the tablets suit her?', 'Is she happy with her tablets?', 'There aren't any tablets that can help that'.  It's particularly inappropriate in S's case as she has the greatest difficulty in swallowing even the smallest tablets and either has to have medication in liquid form or crushed up.  What's wrong with 'drugs' or 'medication'?  I'm sure that this springs from an assumption that people with dementia, old people generally, and 'the masses' have to be talked down to and can only be expected to understand the simplest vocabulary.  Do they use 'tablets' in discussion with fellow professionals?  Of course not.

Also, there's an assumption that someone in S's position must be on a whole range of tablets.  Happily, she is currently pretty stable and may almost have shaken off the worst effects of the last 'tablet' she was persuaded to take.  I quite like the look of surprise, even shock, when I tell them that she's not on any medication.

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