Promoting Dignity in the Care of the Older Adult
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Maintaining older adults’ independence as much as possible should always be at the centre of their care plans. This can be facilitated by giving older adults choice and involving them and their carers in developing and implementing care plans.
For frail older adults and those with dementia, for example, caregivers should always balance the need for safety with the older adult’s independence and autonomy.
All staff caring for older adults must be suitably trained and supported to maintain dignity in older adults. They must be aware of the older adult’s cultural background and respect any cultural sensitivity, demonstrating empathy, respect and kindness while caring for the older adult.
Older adults are more likely to be receiving care from different agencies due to co-morbidities, personal care and social needs. Collaborative care is a good model to ensure that all the agencies/caregivers work together with the older adult at the centre.
Services that provide care for older adults such as care homes, sheltered housing and hospitals should embrace and invest in new technology to help enhance older adults’ independence and quality of life.
Social isolation is a risk factor for poor mental health, which can affect older adults’ self-esteem. Health and social care commissioners should ensure there are facilities in place to identify and help older adults at risk of social isolation such as befriending schemes and day centres.
KeywordsDignity Older adults Holistic care
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