Friday, December 13, 2013


I have a love-hate relationship with euphemisms. There are times that it is nice (and even funny) to allude to something without having to say that ugly word, right? It took me a while to accept the euphemisms related to dying. But now I understand that as long as we say "dying" once clearly, euphemisms can soften the blow of a harsh reality.

However, the use of "placement," when referring to a nursing home move disturbs me. It feels cold and in a disingenuous way, makes it seem as though this is happening outside of any one's control and maybe is even a special honor--"Her Placement." Perhaps this language perpetuates the negative perception of nursing homes, too. Of course, moving to a nursing home is emotionally difficult for all involved BUT as hard as it is to face, active supportive language such as -- "It looks like it is time to move your family member to a nursing home" might in fact be more loving and responsible than "she will be placed."

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