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The Latest "Duh!" Study

Today over on Ragged Edge we feature the latest "Duh!" Study I've run across, courtesy of Dave Reynolds of Inclusion Daily: Study: In-Home Worker Traits Could Increase Dementia Symptoms. "People with dementia seemed more paranoid, 'combatitive' when the in-home worker was young, poorly-educated," the researchers learned.

This qualifies as a "Duh!" Study because the reaction one has to reading about it is, "Well, duh!"

As in -- did we need a study to figure this one out?


Not to be a dope, but I don't really understand the last paragraph of your rant. But I do understand you point about "caregiver." Having been a "caregiver" myself I dislike the "savior-like" quality that this word seems to posses in people's minds. It just makes no sense that because we are providing a service that only a certain percentage of the population needs that we should be though of as any better than anyone. We all have the choice to work anywhere to get our money, we choose this, it is not forced on us, we are not required, we choose it. I see no one praising the guy behind the grill and McDonald's or Burger King. And I happen to think that guy gets a lot less out of his job than I do out of mine. Maybe I'm missing the full point, it's entirely possilbe, but I do understand what you mean about it being a ill-used word.

Okay, Madame, once again you've beaten me to my comment with a much more poignant rant. I'll take to browsing the right column of the main page first from now on. Duh.

Ironically the "Independent Living Center" has become just another social service agency to contend with as ILCs keep people dependent on the center for services.

Don Roberts

Hi, Matt --

If you haven't, by all means do read "The Care Juggernaut". Mary links to it above. One of my all-time personal favorites, and it may clarify some of the things you've been questioning. Peace out.

Matt, above, comments, "I don't really understand the last paragraph of your rant."

I wrote, "I'm almost done with my Diversionary Rant here. I'll be done completely as soon as I ask you to watch your local news media for the next reference to "independent living." If, perchance (but not likely), the reference is to an independent living center, the reporter will be compelled to identify what that creature is, since, still, it's assumed (correctly, no doubt) that nobody knows what one is."

What I meant is this:

"Independent living centers" are not very well known. Actually, most people don't know about them at all. Reporters and editors don't seem to know about them, either. Most larger communities have an independent living center; many have existed for decades. But reporters and editors, as I said, don't seem to know much about them. Or maybe they think their audience doesn't know much about them.

So, when media do a story that includes something about an independent living center, they feel like they have to identify it and explain what it is -- because they believe most people won't know what they're talking about otherwise.

I "ranted" about this because it seems to me that this is a good example of how little the terms we in the disability rights movement use have been picked up and understood by the larger society.

Here's an example that may make it clearer:

Recently, there was a story in my paper that featured a quote from the director of a well-known agency, an agency which takes in abused children and serves as a temporary home pending foster placement. The name of the organization is "Home of the Innocents." The sentences in the article went something like this: "We are seeking more funding," said Joe Blow, director of Home of the Innocents. "We hope to approach the state legislature later this year. . . "

Notice that the newspaper article did not "explain" what "Home of the Innocents" was -- the paper's editors believed the agency was well-known enough that it didn't need an explanation.

But more often than not, when you see a story like this about an independent living center, you'll find the sentence reads a little differently: "We are seeking more funding, said Jane Doe, director of the Anytown Independent Living Center, an organization that helps disabled people. "We hope to approach the legislature..."

See that extra phrase in there after "Independent Living Center" -- the phrase that tells readers what the organization does? That's in there because editors believe that most people won't know what the Anytown Independent Living Center is. In fact, often the identifying phrase leaves a false or skewed impression of what an "independent living center" actually is, but it reflects what the reporter or editor believes it does.

Watching stories for such "identifying phrases" is often a way to gauge how well-known a group or agency is.

Over the years, I've found that stories that include a reference to an independent living center almost always carry this additional identifying phrase, suggesting to me that in most places, even today, independent living centers are not very well known or well understood. Even by reporters or editors.

I hope what I said is clearer now.

The term 'Care Giver'was substituted in my last book for 'Carer' which is the term used in parts of Australia, I allowed the Canadian editor to proceed mainly due to the bulk of sales of the book were going to be in the USA & Canada.

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