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How caregivers can help clients maintain dignity and privacy

One of the main concerns that people who receive home care, whether by an agency or family, is maintaining dignity and privacy. It is also not just solely an issue for the person receiving the care. Many people who provide the care feel uncomfortable at times as well. The good news is that there are things that caregivers can do to help people in this regard. 

As people age, or if they have had an illness or injury, they may require home care that involves assistance with using the restroom, bathing, feeding, or dressing. These are tasks that can put one’s dignity and privacy at risk.

Top four ways to help clients maintain their dignity and privacy: 

Include them:

As much as possible, include the person in everything that is being done. That way they feel as though it’s happening with them and not to them. Take steps to make things easier for them to be involved, such as adding grab bars in the bathroom and a raised toilet seat.

Try to provide cover:

Whenever possible, try to show them that you are providing some privacy. Perhaps you can give them a towel to drape over their lap after helping them onto the toilet, for example. If you have helped the person to the restroom step out and close the door until they need you again. If you are helping the person to get dressed, look down or away as you do so. Simple gestures like this can help them maintain more dignity.

Mums the word:

Caregivers must take privacy seriously, which means not discussing private patient issues with others. Clients need to know that their needs and issues will not become gossip and discussed with outsiders.

Watch the body language:

We say more with our body language than with our words. Caregivers should always pay attention to their body language so that the client sees they are caring, attentive, and aware of one’s need for privacy. 

Depending on the type of care that a client is receiving it may be impossible for them to have complete privacy. They realize this, too. But the more a caregiver strives for helping that client to maintain their dignity and some sense of privacy the better the person will feel as a result.

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