As people age, they often require assistance. A major concern for individuals who receive in-home care from an agency or family member is maintaining dignity and privacy while receiving help with using the restroom, bathing, feeding, and dressing.
According to a 2015 study from AARP, an estimated 44% of Americans have been a caregiver to an older adult or child. The chances are relatively high that you or someone you know will become a caregiver at some point along the way.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to preserve your loved one’s dignity:
Include them. Whenever applicable, include the person in any part of his care. This way, the senior feels the care is being done with and not to him. Let her do as much as she is able and then help with the rest. Strategically placed grab bars and a raised toilet seat may make it easier for an older adult to participate in her care.
Use cover. If ever possible, provide privacy for them. For example, drape a towel on their lap while they’re using the restroom or step out until they need you again. If helping the person get dressed, look down or away as you do so. Simple actions can go a long way in making them feel more comfortable.
Keep quiet. Privacy is a top priority in caregiving, which means any information shared between the family member or client should remain between the two of you. The older adult should know that needs will not be shared or discussed with others. Additionally, a professional caregiver should never share anything personal with a client.
Total privacy may not possible, depending on level of care. However, striving for privacy and dignity is the first step to building trust, which is crucial to the client-caregiver relationship.
If you are a family caregiver struggling with providing care for your loved one, ElderServe can help! Our nonmedical HomeCare program can help with activities of daily living like bathing, meal preparation, and light housekeeping. Also, our Adult Day Health Center can help individuals with medical needs or cognitive issues. Call 502.283.8012 to speak to HomeCare Manager Ronnie Gilbert or 502.373.3302 for Adult Day Health Center Director Tracy Goodman.