Opinion

Dignity in Care: What does it mean?

Dianne Underwood Director of Quality and Care at CRG Homecare

Dianne Underwood is Director of Quality and Care at CRG Homecare, one of the UK’s leading providers of domiciliary care, which offers quality care to service users in the comfort of their own homes.

The beginning of February marks Dignity Action Day, which aims to raise awareness and promote dignity in the care sector. It champions health and social care workers to understand and instil dignity in everything they do, giving service users a sense of purpose and control in their day-to-day lives.

Respect

For me respect is imperative when it comes to creating a culture of dignity in care.  The morals and beliefs of service users should always be followed and respected. Everyone is different and should be treated as such – there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ in care, so communication is key.

Service users should always be involved in decisions related to their care, as making changes without consulting them can make them feel dehumanised and undervalued. Service users will appreciate being consulted about any changes to their care, whether it be medication or new staff – they need to know that their opinion is respected and understood. 

Many people under our service feel lonely and isolated, so the unique bonds they develop with their carers mean that our care workers can get a feeling for how to interact with each service user and better accommodate their needs.

Caring

Compassion is absolutely essential in care.  It might not be something that many people consider, but properly addressing individuals is important for promoting dignity. A name is vital to someone’s identity, so making an assumption about which title or name a person would prefer to be identified by can harmful. We make sure that all of our care workers ask each service user how they’d like to be addressed, so that all of our users feel respected. Many of our staff tell us they treat service users like their own family, affording them the same levels of care and compassion.

Respecting personal space and possessions

A person’s home is their sanctuary, so having strangers come into that space can initially be a very daunting prospect for a service user. We speak to them all individually to understand their expectations of their care team and discuss the importance of respecting space during training for all of our care workers.

It’s so important to establish boundaries as it makes people feel respected and instils a sense of trust. All of our relationships at CRG Homecare are built on trust – due to the nature of the support we provide, there are often situations where an individual’s dignity could be compromised so we train our teams to handle hygiene activities sensitively.

Maintaining personal dignity and treating people with respect are two of the biggest challenges that the care industry faces today. All adults are entitled to it – no matter their age, gender, skin colour or disability – and care workers should always strive to keep this in mind each and every day.

To find out more about CRG Homecare and its services, visit: https://crg.uk.com/homecare/

 

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