Dignity starts at the very top of a care home with the manager and owner taking responsibility for ensuring their staff provide a dignified service. Care staff and ancillary staff are involved directly with residents and represent the care home. The care they provide and the way they provide it, are the standard by which residents will measure whether they have been treated with dignity and respect.
It is very important that we are all treated with respect as individuals, but when somebody moves into care, it is more important that their dignity is at the forefront and to ensure that people are treated like individuals in the most person-centred manner.
All our staff are expected to follow the 10 Dignity Do’s:
- Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse.
- Support residents with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family.
- Treat each resident as an individual by offering a personalised service.
- Enable residents to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control.
- Listen and support residents to express their needs and wants.
- Respect residents’ right to privacy.
- Ensure residents feel able to complain without fear of retribution.
- Engage with family members and carers as care partners.
- Assist residents to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem.
- Act to alleviate resident’s loneliness and isolation.
How we at Serene Care promote dignity in care:
Choice and control. We all have our own clothes, and we know what we like to wear. Residents are no exception. Enabling a resident to choose what he or she wants to wear helps maintain a sense of individuality. You can help them choose by discussing clothing but the choice should always be open. You shouldn’t lay out the clothes for them but involve them in the choice. Keep it simple but don’t make all decisions for them.
Communication. You should always involve the resident in any decisions about their care. Please talk to them and not at them. Perhaps there is a change of medication or your resident has been advised to drink more fluids? Involving them in decisions relating to their care and explaining WHY these changes have happened will help the person feel he or she has some control over their care. Having this communication will also a encourage the resident to accept this change without a barrier between the carer and resident.
Tone of voice also relates to communication. Careers should always address the person with respect. Whilst some people enjoy being called ,darling’ or ‘sweethearts’ in a high-pitched tone, some may find it upsetting and patronising. These people may simply want to be referred by their name or a shortened form of their name if they so choose.
Social inclusion. Mealtimes are often a highlight of the day, so ensuring that your residents enjoy these makes a great difference to their daily wellbeing. Ensuring all residents are sat at a table where they can enjoy social interaction with other residents can create a sense of comfort.
Food and nutrition. Residents may not be eating the same types of food as they enjoyed at home, so its very important they have a choice over what they eat. Asking residents what they would like to eat from a selection of available foods will allow them to enjoy their meal. Elderly residents can be notoriously slow eaters. Giving them enough time to finish their meal and helping when necessary, rather than clearing the table away and rushing them away to the lounge. For residents, mealtimes can be a highlight of the day so it is crucial that they can enjoy this as much as possible. It is also essential to ensure that residents are able to give feedback on menus and what they would like to change, see more of , less of.
Activities: Including all residents in daily activities is important for social inclusion, so crafts or hobbies and arranging group activities like this will help forge inclusion. Many care homes, including Serene Care, celebrate special days for example, birthdays, Easter, Christmas. Getting everyone involved with these special occasions will help many people feel included within the care home and society as a whole.
Personal hygiene, practical assistance and privacy often fall into the same category of areas where maintaining dignity is important. Resident may feel awkward about being washed and dressed by another person and not feel comfortable about being naked. To help maintain dignity always ask for consent first and use the time to chat.
Privacy is important to us all so always respect your resident’s personal space and belongings. Knock before you enter his or her room and don’t go through their belongings uninvited. This would be a massive invasion of privacy. Imagine if somebody entered your home uninvited and then started rifling through your drawers and possessions!
Please remember that to be treated with Dignity is a RIGHT and not a PRIVILEGE and something everyone should expect, especially when in one of our homes.
Serene Care – your Home away from home.