Terminology is important and respecting one another's view is a sign of respect. To get there, however, we often need to be educated. For example, in elder care, we use words such as “pad” and “brief” to describe the protection worn by many who find themselves incontinent at a late age. As a caregiver, I’ve done (and will continue to do) the same. However, since I've started running a support group for the Egosan brand of premium incontinence products, I've learned a few things. One is that caregivers still insist (as do I) that these products have a name that doesn't make people think of babies. This is because so much of the aging process causes people to infantilize older adults thus taking away their hard-earned dignity.
Still, there is another view and that is one held by many of the millions of younger adults who live with heavy incontinence. They are working to destigmatize the word diaper. When I learned this, I thought Wow! What a concept. A diaper is a style of underwear. Period. To be clear, getting to that place will take years if not decades, but we really can do both. When referring to the overall market, we might use either word depending on our intent. Yet, if we are addressing our older generation, let's use an approach that doesn't increase their feelings of shame.
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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***Egosan is PEFC certified. This certification guarantees that their products are from sustainably managed forests and recycled controlled sources