While many caregivers feel like speaking in a cheerful, simple way or using terms of endearment shows they care, many older adults are less than receptive to this manner of speech. Elderspeak often includes:
- Speaking slowly and loudly, or in a sing-song voice
- Using inappropriately intimate pet names, such as sweetie, honey or dear
- Using smaller words and shorter sentences
- Using pronouns like "we" and "us" instead of "you," such as, "How are we doing today?"
- Asking questions that assume role loss, idleness or powerlessness, such as "Who did you used to be?" or "What did you used to do?"