Serving the Underserved: Caring for People Who Are Both Old and Mentally Retarded: A Handbook for Caregivers

By Mary C. Howell; Deirdre G. Gavin et al. | Go to book overview

Editors' Notes

A word about our words:

The use of non-sexist pronouns is never as smooth and easy as reliance on the conventional HE. We believe, however, that it is worth some effort on the part of both writers and readers to search for linguistic forms that do not perpetuate sexist habits, and that remind us how "naturally" sexist we have been. In this book we have elected to alternate the use of HE and SHE from one example or instance to the next, to remind us that the "generic HE" is not interpreted by many readers as making reference inclusively to all of us.

We hold to other linguistic choices out of respect. For instance, we make an effort, whenever it is stylistically possible, to talk about "People with..." or "People who are" when we are discussing disabilities. We use the direct and simple words OLD and MENTALLY RE- TARDED, believing that euphemisms ("developmentally disabled," "older") soon also become denigrated. Our effort must go to honoring and giving value to the status of being old and being mentally retarded, not to avoidance and looking away.

Whenever clients and their stories are discussed, names are changed to protect privacy. In some instances, where an account seems so revealing as to lead to identification of the client, other details have been altered. Their stories, however, are still true to the course of their lives and experiences.

Some of these chapters have appeared in modified form in other publications: "Decision-Making by and for Individuals of Questionable Competence" (#23) appeared in The Exceptional Parent; "Eating for Good Health: A Diet Program for Older Adults in Special Olympics, 1987" (#31) is a booklet distributed by Exceptional Parent Press in Boston (617) 730-5800; "Depression in the Mentally Retarded Elderly: Implications for Treatment Care and Research" (#37) appears in Harper M. S. , Ed. Mental Health and Mental Illness of the Mentally Retarded Elderly, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1988; "Estate Planning: Providing for Your Child's Future" (#49) appeared in The Exceptional Parent, 1986, 16:8:912-19; "Ethical Dilemmas Encountered in the Care of Those Who Are Mentally Retarded and Also Old" (#52) appears in Rose T. and Ansello E. F., Eds. Special Issue on Aging and Developmental Disabilities, Educational Gerontology: An International Bimonthly Journal, 1988; 14; "Ethical Dilemmas in Caregiving: A Guide for Staff Serving Adults Who Are Mentally Retarded"

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