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How To Promote Dignity in Residential Care Homes

May 06th 2022

Promoting dignity in care homes refers to the way we provide the support that enhances well being and self-respect while encouraging independence and choice. In the care homes within the Select Healthcare Group, a sense of dignity allows the individuals we care for to continue to be the people they always were without diminishing abilities or preferences. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates standards in residential care homes and set the framework for dignity in care. The Social Care Institute for Excellence divides these regulations into 8 principles:

  1. Personal Hygiene 
  2. Communication 
  3. Choice and Control
  4. Privacy
  5. Social Inclusion
  6. Practical Assistance
  7. Nutrition In care homes
  8. Pain Management  

Many aspects of daily life provide opportunities to promote dignity and respect but how do residential care homes apply these principles to the individuals they support? Here are 8 ways that care homes within the Select Healthcare Group uphold dignity within the residential care home setting. 

Personal Care and Hygiene 
Supporting the personal hygiene of an individual means more than helping them to stay clean and tidy. When keeping dignity in mind, supporting the choices people make about their personal care and appearance goes a long way in improving self-image and boosting confidence. The way we promote dignity around personal care can look like encouraging someone to choose their own clothing for the day or having the choice between a wet or dry shave. Providing services like hairdressers, chiropodists and dental care help to further emphasise dignity in our care homes.

Communication
Listening and understanding are important fundamentals in communication and good communication supports dignity within our Select Healthcare Group care homes. Knowing how to address someone, for example, can make the difference between making someone feel respected or not. Because some individuals in care may have limited or impaired speech, it is vital to have trained staff who can communicate in other formats. Good communication between residents, our care staff and medical professionals help to create care plans that maintain the dignity of the people we are supporting. Making time for casual conversations helps to gain insight into the day to day well-being of residents and allows them to express their feelings.

Choice and Control
Enabling individuals to make choices about their lives encourages dignity. Choice and control in our care homes can look like involving residents in making menu plans that respect cultural and dietary requirements. Or perhaps supporting an individual's religious choices and practices. With the help of person-centred care plans, the residents in Select Healthcare homes can make decisions about how they want to live with a focus on maintaining skills and independence.

Privacy
People in care homes deserve the same level of privacy as anyone else living in their own homes. Respecting the privacy of the people being cared for is a fundamental part of upholding their dignity. Every residential care home will have a privacy policy that should be read, understood and followed by all care staff. Our care homes are no exception to this rule.  The residents we support have the right to keep their information private and details about a resident should only be available on a need to know basis. 

Social Inclusion 
Being a part of the community and feeling included helps to bolster dignity and well-being. Sharing time and experiences with others enforces community spirit and prevents isolation. Activity coordinators in our care homes help to create an inclusive environment through group activities that encourage social interaction, both indoors and outdoors. Getting out into the local community gives residents a sense of living the life they used to live which helps to maintain a sense of purpose.

Practical Assistance
Being able to live in an environment where practical assistance is always available brings peace of mind. Care homes with access to facilities and services that are there to support and assist the day to day lives of people in care demonstrate a commitment to dignity. Providing occupational health therapy is one example of how we demonstrate this commitment. Having purpose-built homes that cater to specific needs like our Brain Injury Unit is another way of providing practical assistance.

Nutrition in Care Homes
For many people living in residential care homes and nursing homes, mealtimes are often the highlight of the day and dignity is promoted through nutrition by giving the residents of care homes opportunities to choose their meals. In addition, offering cultural and traditional food creates a feeling of being at home. At Select Healthcare homes, nutritional health is also supported by monitoring and recording the fluid and food intake of the residents. Some residents may need extra support at mealtimes and staff who assist, do so in a dignified manner. 

Pain Management
The way we experience pain is very different from person to person and sometimes it can be difficult to detect pain in others. Often it may be difficult for elderly or people with learning disabilities to communicate pain and care staff must be aware of the non-verbal signs that a resident is feeling unwell. Being able to spot the signs of ill health as well as having options for managing pain is a way to promote dignity in the care home. Medication policies in the home indicate best practices for administering medication but sometimes medicine isn’t always the remedy. Emotional pain like grief for example requires a different type of treatment. Having access to services like psychiatric support can help residents to address any issues, receive therapeutic help and improve their quality of life.


At the Select Healthcare Group, our care homes focus on the principles of promoting dignity and respect to enhance the well-being of the residents. If you would like to know more about our specialist care homes and services, get in touch by making an online enquiry or by calling 01384 597223.

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