My 13 idea of respecting another's dignity when living in an assisted living center.
1. Address an older individual by their title Mr. Mrs. Miss, Mame, or only if given permission, by their first name.
2. Refrain from addressing an older person as "honey, sweetie, sweetheart or any other term that denotes an intimate relationship. You wouldn't address an employer with these terms.
3. Be considerate of the individual's personal space.
4. Knock before entering an individual's quarters.
5. Wait, after knocking, for an invitation to enter or at least wait an appropriate amount of time before entering to allow the individual to respond.
6. Request to speak to an individual quietly in private. Do not holler across a dining room the individual's name. No one else needs to know the resident's business or that you need to talk to them. Demonstrate that respect.
7. Do not holler across a dining room and ask the resident how their meal is, that is demonstrating a lack of respect. Go over to the individual and address them in a respectful manner to inquire if their meal is satisfactory.
8. Go about your duties in the dining room in a quiet manner. Meal time is one of socialization for residents. Be respectful of their environment it should not remind one of a junior high cafeteria. There should not be banging of dishes, wait staff hollering across the dining room shouting orders or staff visiting with one another. This is time for the residents and should be a pleasant experience; for some this is the highlight of their day.
9. If a resident needs assistance to the bathroom do not announce it to the whole dining room how embarrassing! If you need to let a coworker know you are leaving the area because a resident needs assistance to the bathroom develop specific statements such as "Mrs. Brown requires assistance" meaning its a bathroom run and may take a while or "Mr. Moon requests assistance" meaning you will be taking him back to his room to change cloths because of an accident or whatever might work for your situation. Remember the residents were once fully functioning adults with pride and dignity. They have lost so much independence, control over bodily functions, ability to care for themselves as they once did; we need to make the effort to preserve their dignity and demonstrate respect.
10. When providing personal care for residents make the environment as private as possible. Provide adequate covering. Do not allow coworkers to walk in and carry on a conversation while you are providing care.
11. Try to carry on polite conversation while providing intimate personal care to decrease embarrassment for the individual. Provide the resident modesty whenever possible.
12. Explain what you wish to do before you execute and ask the resident's preference and permission.
13. Refrain from discussing resident information in public areas such as the dining room, elevators, common bathrooms (it is amazing how voices carry out of a bathroom), hallways or any where the information could be overheard.
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