Alzheimer’s and dementia is a disease that can cause an individual to act differently and become aggressive, anxious, forgetful or confused. The Treatment Advocacy Center explains that some people with Alzheimer’s can also have Anosognosia, “A symptom of severe mental illness experienced by some that impair a person’s ability to understand and perceive his or her illness.” You may have noticed increased forgetfulness or confusion in an elderly loved one but, when you try to talk to them about your concerns, they become defensive and deny anything wrong. This can make it difficult for family members to remember who their loved ones once were before the disease commenced. However, this does not mean that it is okay to treat them as a child and deserves to be treated as an adult. It is the little things that can make a difference for the person receiving care to feel respected while maintaining their dignity. Here are a few ways to maintain the dignity of the memory care population.
It is common for family members and caregivers to overlook how they choose to speak and act around adults with Alzheimer’s. The most important thing to remember when caring with dignity is to use positive language and behaviors around a loved one. There is a strong desire to be treated with respect. Here are some ways to do just that:
- Close the door when you help him or her dress or use the bathroom.
- Knock before opening a closed door.
- Don’t discuss confidential information with other people, even family members, without their permission.
Respect Their Choices
Whether your loved one is deciding on what to wear or what to eat, taking their choice into consideration can provide a sense of respect and dignity. Also, remember to be positive as your behaviors, choice of words and environments can have a significant effect on how a loved one with dementia may feel. Although you may think or want them to wear a particular piece of clothing because it looks nice, remember that what is most important is honoring their choice and personal taste in style.
Treat Them With Dignity
Lastly, the obvious but most overlooked way to respect a senior’s dignity is to simply treat them with honor. Remain dedicated to the wellbeing of your loved ones. Assuring that he or she is being treated with the utmost respect and dignity can have a great impact on their lives. Here are some additional ways of preserving the dignity of the memory care population:
- Listen to their concerns.
- Ask for their opinions and let them know they are important to you.
- Involve them in as many decisions as possible.
- Include them in the conversation. Don’t talk about them as if though he or she is not there.
- Speak to them as an adult, even if you’re not sure how much they understand.
At Poet’s Walk, a Spring Hills Memory Care Community, we believe in holistic care that intrigues the mind, moves the body and inspires the spirit. Our Director of Resident Care, Yannique Mack, explains “Maintaining Dignity of Our Memory Care Population results in a positive community of residents and caretakers focused on quality living while maintaining dignity and respect.” To find out more about our approach to offering services that are designed to meet the needs and preferences of residents and clients, click here.