Alternative to Consumer Terminology

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Tru Here.  Everyone has different hot-button terminology.  I don’t have a problem with “suffering” terminology, and a lot of the other words.  But I cringe every time I see the words “service user” or “consumer”.

In my experience the problem is not the impersonal nature of the term “service user”, but rather the consuming nature of the term.  We are the “user”, “consumer”, etc.  Our care “provider” is the “Giver”; the one who has what we will use up.  It all emphasizes the one-way road of resources.  It emphasizes our position of sucking up everything you have.   I realize that I consume resources.   I realize that I will use up every available resource and every ounce of energy that my loved ones can spare, but PLEASE do not throw it in my face!

How about dementia team of “warrior” and “coach”?  Every day (or more appropriately sometimes – night) is a battle.  My battle is the same as it is for you; to be the best “me” that I can be, despite dwindling resources.  My sacrifice is my self; MY all – because that is the known outcome of this war.  It will cost every single thing that I hold most dear, and my memories and connections with every being that I hold most dear.  Eventually it will cost my life.  I could just give up.  But I believe the battles are worth fighting, and the warriors ARE honorable despite the fact that they “consume” resources of others.

… Aren’t they?

So can we all together find some different terms, okay?

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3 thoughts on “Alternative to Consumer Terminology

  1. You are so right on target, Truthful!

    As a nurse my edges curl up when I hear those we tend to referred to as “consumers” or” clients” or “customers”. It is as if they/we are a product. So impersonal and doesn’t give me the feeling that the providers are taking care of the person. I cringe when the people we care for are referred to the room number that is assigned to them in a hospital or a long term care facility. (The woman in 523…) Can’t they take the time to know who we are and our name?

    What happened to calling us by our name…a person who has a family and feelings that works to be acknowledged? The medical community has reduced us to a label and part of their fiscal agenda.
    Thank you for validating my feelings as a nurse being on the other end of the care giving spectrum!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand where you’re coming from. Unfortunately we were not “permitted” to use the word Alzheimer’s or dementia”. My mother fought it. I didn’t learn about Care giving until I started “giving care”. My father cared for her until his untimely death. You are quite aware. I give you a lot of credit for what you are doing. Telling what it’s like from your end, etc. We can and will learn from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Suggestions for Better Understanding of AUDIO Communication Despite Dementia Symptoms | Truthful Loving Kindness

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