Six Ways to Promote Dignity in Your Care Home

Care homes have the honour and privilege of looking after the senior population. Despite the benefits of these facilities, the transition period is often difficult and a common complaint stems from a sense of loss around dignity. To keep residents self-assured, looked after and with a strong sense of dignity, care homes have a responsibility to put strategies in place. Here are six ways to promote dignity in your care home. 

Focus on Privacy

Privacy, above all, is one of the easiest and most simple methods of ensuring no one loses dignity during any time. Things like medical curtains or privacy screens being made available during appointments, doors without windows on personal bedrooms, and lockable bathroom  stalls, all have an impact. Yet privacy is also awarded subtly. Small gestures such as turning around while someone is getting dressed and only assisting if asked will have a huge impact on mental health and how someone feels. 

Don’t Talk Down to Residents

Elderly people are some of the best conversationalists, and this should be acknowledged. It is all too easy for care home staff to slip into infantilisation of the senior residents; however, this should never be a thing. When it comes to degenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s that negatively impede verbal capacities, it becomes more automatic to use baby talk or adjust speech as though you were talking to a small child.  

Have Solid Hygiene Routines

No one can feel their best self if their hygiene needs are being neglected. Even if it poses a challenge sometimes, create the space to have nurturing self-care routines for each resident. Feeling clean and cared for does wonders for that personal sense of dignity that we all carry around. The same goes for clean and stain-free attire. 

Involve Them in Their Care Decisions

Where possible, give them a voice. They are the ones living with the decisions happening around them regarding their care and there is a good chance that a lot of residents in there did not leave their homes gladly. Involve seniors in their own care and enable their decision-making process by providing them with facts and statistics and outlooks. This is a verified method of enabling dignity and is super useful when diagnosing and addressing pain or discomfort. 

Promote Social Activities

Socialisation is one of the key things to keep afloat in old age. The benefits are almost infinite and providing methods of staying active in the community, engaging with fellow residents or just a simple conversation here and there can do wonders for mental health and feelings of self-worth. Isolation leads to deterioration and the link between the two is undeniable. People do better when they are around other people, their brain is engaged, and they have a purpose and feel worth. 

Care homes have a big job. Looking after the elderly generation is demanding and there are so many discrepancies about salary and care agendas that it can feel like a turbulent profession too. Yet, the key focus needs to be maintained and provide those seniors with a dignified existence regardless of the context.