3 Ways Seniors Can Maintain their Dignity

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 3/21/2018 6:17 PM by Interim HealthCare
Helping a senior loved one maintain their dignity as they age may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it is very important to address because it can be a dangerous downward spiral if ignored.

A person's dignity is central to his mental and emotional health. When a senior feels condescended, disrespected, or otherwise diminished, they can go down a spiral of negative mental and emotional consequences resulting in depression, anxiety, bitterness, loss of motivation, and even more rapid rate of physical decline. Preserving your aging loved ones' dignity throughout their later years is an important part of giving the quality of care they need and deserve, and supporting a strong sense of self, meaning, and worth even in the face of challenges.

If you loved one needs help at home and a family caregiver is not an option, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Caregivers can help your seniors cope with their daily challenges in a way that is respectful, encouraging, and personalized. Below are 3 tips that you and your caregiver should discuss to create a caregiving plan that treats your loved one with dignity and respect.

Treat Them Like Adults - When a person is in need of care and assistance, it is easy to start looking at them like a child. This is particularly true when the person is coping with cognitive or physical limitations that make his behaviors and capabilities more childlike. It is important to remember, however, that your seniors are not children. Regardless of their challenges, they are adults and you and their care provider should always treat them as such. This means talking to them in an adult tone of voice, using appropriate language, and allowing them to make decisions whenever possible
Encourage Communication - Talking about a person as if they are not in the room, or talking for a person because you feel like they cannot communicate effectively for himself or herself will quickly leave that person feeling disrespected and not valuable. Encourage your seniors to communicate on their own as much as possible by asking leading questions, engaging in conversation throughout the day, and talking to them throughout care tasks even if they do not respond.
Keep Them Active - Feelings of isolation are a very serious concern when it comes to the mental and emotional health of elderly adults. Maintain their dignity and keep them feeling relevant and acknowledged by working with their caregiver to plan outings and find events, clubs, and other socialization opportunities.

If you have an aging loved one in need of a caregiver contact Interim HealthCare today.