Helping your loved one maintain a sense of dignity can be one of the most difficult aspects of caregiving.
Take a minute to consider your special role as a caregiver. More than a professional caregiver, you know the person you care for. You know the whole person, his likes and dislikes, his individual strengths and weaknesses, and his wants and needs.
It’s easy to slip into a “protective” role when you care for someone else, especially a family member. But we need to remember that unless the person is experiencing some cognitive failure (brain damage because of a stroke, dementia, or other health problem), he still makes decisions about his life. Sometimes he may make decisions that you wouldn’t make, but it is his choice. This can be difficult for you as a caregiver; you will need to watch yourself and guard against overprotection.
Among the most important human needs is the desire for respect and dignity. That need doesn’t change when a person becomes ill or disabled. Indeed, it may grow even stronger.
There are many things you can do to make sure the person in your care receives the respect and dignity that is every person’s basic human right.
Respect His Privacy, Physically And Emotionally.
Respect His Right To Make Choices.
Treat Him (or Her) With Dignity.
Originally written and published by the Aging and Adult Services Administration Department of Social and Health Services, State of Washington. Reprinted with permission.
© Washington State Department of Social and Health Services