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Dignity in Care - Part 2

1st February

Wellbeing is defined as a broad concept relating to several factors, such as treating one with respect. In the same way, the emphasis on choice and control through person-centered care. It supports the person’s sense of self-respect, as well as the provider’s commitment to treat the person with dignity and respect.

Care with dignity supports the self-respect of the person, recognising their capacities and ambitions, and does nothing to undermine it. It includes respect for what they can do, who they are, and the life they’ve lived. It’s seen as a central part of quality in care work.

The concept of personalisation sets out to capture these qualities of respect and compassion, and identifies care practice that supports independence, self-esteem, and dignity. Where is home? It’s important to make sure that everyone feels welcome and settles in their new environment that is to become their home. We all want this kind of personalised care for our families, when considering a home for a loved one.

Here are some quotes from residents at Swarthmore that reflect Dignity in the home:

I feel that the precision of running a home is very important to the management and to the residents. I am amazed how well the housekeeping runs at Swarthmore. The housekeepers go to great strength to provide a smooth service. The care team are always courteous, I feel this is so important to make anyone feel comfortable as a new resident. - David

Being treated or spoken to as an adult and not a child allows me to keep my dignity. Today I fancied going for a walk along the patio in the winter sun, I mentioned this to a carer, and they said of course. To my delight they offered to accompany me, and we held a delightful conversation on the way. Staff are very helpful and kind at all times. – Barbara T

Having experienced many things in my life and brought up my own family, its important to be treated with respect. It’s important for anyone growing old and in a care environment that they remain to be treated as an adult and not an old person or made to feel inadequate. Staff here at Swarthmore are very kind and helpful. – Peggy

Swarthmore is a happy home, and the care is wonderful. My experience here is that staff are very caring and always understanding. Staff are very careful with responses. I am never made to feel stupid with age, even when my body doesn’t allow me to do something, of course our mind tells us differently. Staff have so many different levels of care to provide, chef has lots of variations of food to prepare but nothing is too much trouble for anyone. – Shelagh

Everyone experiences changes to their sense of personal identity at times in their lives. Some of these changes can be difficult and painful.

Individual self-esteem can be attacked very simply by assigning us to a group identity that carries stigma such as ‘old people’, ‘care home’ for example. Recently it has been found that even a diagnosis of ‘frailty’ may attack a person’s self-esteem so that they feel bound to act and feel ‘frail’.

Memories are an important part of anyone’s life, but these become more important as we age. Remembering life history is an important part of our identity, especially when people are at risk of losing their personal story. Ensuring we treat them with dignity involves supporting them in maintaining their memories and celebrating life.

Dignified care means treating everyone with respect as an individual citizen with a past and a future. This is a key part of the person-centred care. It is important that the residents’ needs are met. Here are a few important facts when giving care:

Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family

Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service

Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control

Listen and support people to express their needs and wants

Respect people's right to privacy

Look for feedback so we can improve where necessary

Engage with family members

Assist people to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem

Act to alleviate people's loneliness and isolation

Dignity in Care campaigns core values are about having dignity in our hearts, minds, and actions, changing the culture of care services, and placing a greater emphasis on improving the quality of care and the experience of citizens using services including NHS hospitals, community services, care homes and home support services.

Dignity means treating someone with respect and honour. A person’s life revolves around their sense of dignity. Every conversation has some effect on a person’s sense of self-esteem and identity.

Dignity in care allows us to provide care that promotes a person’s self-esteem

Acknowledging residents abilities and desires, so nothing undermines them.

There has been a growing awareness of the importance of “dignity in care” in recent years. Dignity concerns how people think, believe and act with them. Treating others with integrity means treating them as valuable people. The manner of treatment makes them mindful of their worth. Our sense of worth, emotions, and values are all part of our dignity. This is what we are born with. We are irreplaceable. We are distinct. Human beings deserve respect regardless of their physical, cognitive, or ethnic distinctions.

How to maintain privacy and dignity when providing personal care

Personal care is an important benefit that many people need to live stable, prosperous lives. Help build a comfortable and supportive atmosphere; this will help them feel supported and safe.

Maintain personal space and boundaries by announcing your presence when entering a room. Respect their privacy. Ask one how they feel today, make them feel special. Always offer to help with day-to-day routines such as washing, getting dressed etc and most of all offer a cup of tea and a chat. This goes a long way!

Dignity means supporting the self-esteem of a person.  Recognising their capabilities helps create a positive mindset... Watch your body language during interactions – be aware of how you appear. Engage in friendly conversations – such as fun talking points with the person you are taking care of.

Listening to them attentively - even if you’re in the middle of something else, prioritise the residents’ requests. If they ask for something specific, attempt to fulfil their request. When you’re working on something critical let them now that you’ll be happy to address once you have completed your task.

Always speak to them in a polite tone and pay attention to the conversation.

Respect their opinions - when you’re at work, put your own morals to one side. Listen to their own philosophies and values. Refrain from criticising or judging them. Instead, attempt to involve them in a discussion about their views so that you can learn more about them.

The Six Cs of caregiving provide a standard of service that reflects the ethos and practices of all organisations that offer care and assistance. They provide a series of shared principles to guarantee all health and social care staff the guidelines. They all have the same weight of value and are all necessary for humane treatment. The following list of shows their definitions:

Care entails prioritising high-quality treatment in both work and procedures. It entails providing treatment that is constantly focused on the resident. The aim of care is to encourage health and well-being.

Compassion applies to receiving care with empathy and integrity. It refers to understanding people’s feelings and establishing empathy-based relationships.

Competence ensures someone in a caring capacity can consider each person’s health and social needs.

Communication - listening is almost as important as speaking when it comes to communication.

Courage - doing the right thing, standing out where there are problems, and possessing the power and imagination to develop and act in fresh, innovative ways. It takes courage to ensure that everyone receives the high-quality treatment they deserve.

Commitment is making a strong dedication to residents, the environment, and your colleagues by keeping this at the forefront of everything you do. Being dedicated to your role. Finally, dedication entails a commitment to lifelong learning and adaptability.

Working in care is so rewarding. It works both ways giving respect and dignity builds a healthy and happy home. We look forward to welcoming you to Swarthmore.

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