Elderspeak involved speaking slowly... using terms of endearment such as "honey" or "sweetheart," and speaking to the adult as if he was an infant or young child. For that reason, elderspeak is also described as using communication that "infantilizes" the adult. -Source
Not only is this type of speech condescending and disrespectful to older adults, it can be damaging to their mental health and well-being.
According to Becca Levy, a researcher on a study on the effects of elderspeak, by Yale University, the practice “sends a message that the patient is incompetent, and begins a negative downward spiral for older adults who react with decreased self-esteem, depression and withdrawal.” -Source
I would snicker except "Red Flag Laws" are looming on the horizon.
Does this mean I might be labeled as abusive and lose Constitutionally guaranteed rights if I call an elderly waitress "Sweetie"?