Elderspeak (HLOL #182)

Anna I. Corwin Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Saint Mary’s College of California. Trained in Linguistic and Medical Anthropology, Dr. Corwin’s work focuses on understanding how cultural practices and communication shape older individuals’ experiences of their lives, their bodies, and aging.  Much of Dr. Corwin’s research has examined how and why American Catholic nuns age more “successfully” than their lay counterparts, benefitting not only from physical health but also mental and emotional well-being.

In this podcast, Dr. Anna Corwin and Helen Osborne talk about:

  • Elderspeak. Characteristics can include simplified speech and vocabulary, a slower rate, exaggerated intonation, elevated pitch and volume, and collective pronouns. 
  • Why some people use elderspeak. And possible negative outcomes when they do. 
  • Dr. Corwin’s research as a linguistic anthropologist. Stories and lessons learned from her year living with nuns at a Catholic convent.  
  • Examples of effective linguistic tools to try when interacting with people who have aphasia, dementia, or other conditions impeding communication. 

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 11, 14, 19, 22, 24, 31, 41.

From the Tooth’s Point of View: Communicating Serious Health Messages with Wit and Whimsy (HLOL #58)

Jeanette Courtad DDS is a practicing dentist. She has worked with patients of all ages—from outreach programs at primary schools to now being the dentist at the Colorado School of Mines Student Health Center.

Dr. Courtad is also an artist with a lifetime of experience painting, dancing, and sculpting. She combines her artistic talents with a passion for educating children about the need for better oral hygiene in her new book, Toothful Tales: How We Survived the Sweet Attack.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why preventive health messages are often difficult to communicate.
  • Ways to draw attention to your message with empathy, wit, and whimsy.
  • Strategies that work with children, young adults, and even parents.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 14, 17, 38,

The Healing Power of Humor & Play (HLOL #36)

Izzy Gesell M.ED, CSP knows a lot about the healing power of humor and play. With degrees in psychology and education, Izzy brings energy and joy to all he does – whether he’s working as a special education teacher, a stand-up comic, or an organizational consultant.

Izzy not only is funny in his own right but also teaches others how to use humor and play. He is the author of numerous publications including Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater and Cancer and the Healing Power of Play.

In this podcast, Izzy talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How humor & play can add positive energy, build bridges, and create bonds.
  • Knowing when, and when not, to use humor in health communication.
  • Being humorous, even when you think you’re not funny.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 14, 40, 41.

Jan Potter Talks about Using Humor & Graphics to Convey Health Information (HLOL #5)

Jan Potter is a communications specialist with the Partnership for Health and Accountability, a division of the Georgia Hospital Association. Among her many accomplishments, Jan designed a bulletin board system on a variety of health education topics. These bulletin boards are free for others to download and use. In addition, Jan works on a wide range of projects, newsletters, and websites. Her most recent is an online toolkit to promote tobacco-free hospital campuses in Georgia.

In this Health Literacy Out Loud podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about using humor and graphics to convey health information. Topics include:

  • How bulletin boards help draw attention to important health information
  • Ways to use color, humor, and graphics to engage and empower patients
  • Tips to create your own bulletin boards or build on what others have done

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 38, 40.

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