Talking to old people like children cuts eight years off their lives, says Yale study

Calling elderly people 'sweetie' or 'dear' could have a detrimental effect on their health, a report has warned.

A study by Yale University in the U.S. warned of the dangers of what it calls 'elderspeak' - patronising language used by the young.

The researchers pointed to words which paint the elderly as similar to small children - such as 'sweetie' and 'dear'. They also criticised the habit of speaking needlessly slowly and loudly. The scientists said that such behaviour can be distressing and can even affect health. They said that the worst offenders are often healthcare workers who think they are being kind.

The research also revealed that many older patients are annoyed by doctors who address their children rather than them. They are also infuriated by people who automatically assume they do not know how to use computers, mobile phones, or other modern gadgets. The report's author, psychologist Professor Becca Levy, said: 'Those little insults can lead to more negative images of ageing."

Source - Daily Mail