When we care for someone how do we deal with the challenge of personal care and keep the patient’s dignity intact? Whether this is a patient we’re treating in the medical profession or our family member at home the issue will come up. It is very important to remember that although this person now needs some assistance, in all likelihood they were, up until this point, proud, independent and able to do things on their own. As frustrating as care giving can sometimes be, it is far more frustrating for the person you are caring for to actually need help.
There are things a caregiver can do to make things go more smoothly, and therefore ease some of the embarrassment .
For example if the person needs your help to assist them onto the toilet or change a diaper,how do you do that with dignity? First of all be prepared. Have some bags around to aid in quickly disposing of soiled things.
Have fresh items you need ready to put on after they have been cleaned up. Don’t make a fuss and watch your manners as you do so.
There is no need to start the obvious ,by making derogatory comments about the mess or the smell. The person in need is already upset about the loss of a bodily function with out you making them feel ashamed. When you clean them up, do so gently and patiently as your touch will convey your attitude.
Help them freshen up and make sure they’re clothing is put on in a comfortable manner. Remove all soiled items so that it doesn’t remind them that they’re struggling with this issue.
Remember to notice if they have a limb that doesn’t move easily,so you can put the arm or leg in that is affected on first. It will make it easier for them to reach the limb they can still move into the garment with less assistance.
I’m other words let them do what they can do .Until they can’t.
If you over do they feel incompetence,and that is demoralizing. A good rule of thumb is to stop and ask your self,what is the kindest way I can handle this. How would I like to be treated in this situation.
CNA, Massage therapist, exercise and strength training