Elderly Care in Newport Beach CA
Dignity is something that every individual deserves regardless of that person’s circumstances, challenges, or limitations. Caring for someone with dignity is a show of love, concern, and devotion that can make a tremendous difference in not only how you feel about your care experience with your parent, but how he benefits from the time that you spend together. This is especially important if you are on an elderly care journey with a senior who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. When a senior is coping with confusion, disorientation, memory loss, and other mental, cognitive, and physical limitations and challenges it is easy to start focusing more on the care efforts and needs than on the individual. This quickly removes the dignity of the care that you give and can diminish your parent’s quality of life as well as your relationship with him.
Use these tips to reconnect with your loved one and show him respect and love by protecting his dignity as you care for him through his progression through dementia:
- Talk with him. Communication is a vital element of respect and dignity. Regardless of the limitations that your loved ones is coping with, make sure that you talk with him throughout the time that you are caring for him, and encourage his elderly health care services provider to talk with him while he is there. It may seem awkward at first, especially if you senior is at a stage in the disease at which he does not communicate well or at all, but keep doing it and you will get used to it. Simply talk to him as if he is talking back. Tell him what you are doing, tell him about your day, ask him questions, and comment on any activities that you are doing together
- Let him decide. Whenever possible, allow your senior to make decisions about his care and his life. Even simple decisions like what shirt he wants to wear or what type of beverage he would like to drink with lunch reestablishes his independence and autonomy and shows your respect
- Choose your language carefully. When you are talking with your senior, his elderly health care services provider, other members of your care team, or friends and family, choose your words carefully. Avoid using baby-related terms such as potty or diaper to describe activities during the day or care techniques and tools that you use. Instead, use the same adult terms you would always use or appropriate adult terms that describe exactly what it is, such as “undergarment” or “bathroom”. Only emphasize the therapeutic or corrective properties of something if it will ease a concern, such as mentioning that an apron or cloth is to protect his clothing during a meal if he is worried about spilling
- Be modest. Simply because your parent cannot find the right words to express it does not mean that he does not still feel modesty, embarrassment, or self-consciousness. Maintain his dignity during potentially sensitive tasks such as bathing and toileting by averting your eyes as much as possible, keeping parts that are not directly involved covered, and allowing him to do as much as he can himself. You may also want to consider leaving these tasks to a care provider who may make your parent feel more at ease during such situations.