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The 10 Dignity Do’s

Privacy and Dignity in Care

As obvious as it may sound, before care workers can treat the people they care for with dignity, it’s crucial that they first understand what “dignity” is and what it means to help somebody in care maintain it.

Dignity can be defined as the right a person has to be valued and respected as an individual in their own right. It means considering and respecting their views, values, and opinions; not making assumptions or drawing unwarranted conclusions about them; not stereotyping or discriminating against them; and treating them as an equal, worthy of the same basic level of respect as you.

The concept of dignity is something we all broadly understand but tying the abstract concept to concrete reality and using it to shape how we might care for another person isn’t so simple. To help, Dignity in Care created a list of 10 Dignity Do’s which help describe what treating somebody in care with dignity involves. They are:

  • Have a zero-tolerance policy on all forms of abuse
  • Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a family member
  • 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
  • Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution
  • Engage with family members and carers as care partners
  • Assist people to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem, and
  • Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation

As a care worker, you have the ability to strengthen or diminish the self-worth, independence, and sense of dignity of everyone you care for with every action you take or choose not to take. You won’t always get it right but by following the 10 Dignity Do’s you’ll stand a much better chance of always making a positive impact.

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