Can Caregivers Help their Clients Maintain Dignity and Privacy?

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Yes! There are ways to make receiving personal care more comfortable.

Seniors maintain dignity in Baton RougeWhen looking for a caregiver for your aging parents, likely one of your biggest concerns is whether or not their dignity and privacy will be respected, even if personal care is required. You are anxious for your mom or dad to feel more in control, and this will help them to accept needed assistance.

Our CAREGiver training stresses the importance of treating every client with respect. For example, we remind them to address new clients as “Mr.”, “Mrs.” or “Ms.” unless invited to do otherwise. Your mom or dad will be encouraged to take the lead in household routines wherever possible, and CAREGivers will ask permission before going into private areas of the house unless that area is part of their routine responsibilities.
Caring for a senior with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease calls for an extra level of patience and kindness. Our CAREGivers remain calm and kind at all times, never showing impatience or irritation.

Respecting Dignity and Privacy While Helping with Hygiene and Toileting

People who need help with toileting and hygiene value gentleness, thoughtfulness and respect. They also appreciate it when they are given the option to care for their own needs as much as possible. To that end, consider adding grab bars near the toilet and tub, raised toilet seats, shower chairs with transfer boards and non-slip mats (or no mats). Remember to have toilet paper, cleansing wipes, towels, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, powder and a change of clothes ready when it is time for a shower or toileting.  Being prepared helps the senior maintain a higher level of independence and helps the caregiver be ready to assist with personal care needs.

When help is needed, CAREGivers respect their client’s modesty by using towels to drape the body, keeping as much covered as possible (there is even a special garment just for modesty while showering). Changing one piece of clothing at a time and looking down when helping with undergarments also shows respect.

Professional CAREGivers are trained, experienced and understand it is sometimes difficult for someone to accept help with their personal care needs when they were used to doing it all for themselves.  CAREGivers can help by always maintaining a high level of respect which helps maintain a high level of dignity.

CAREGivers Share Their Methods

Caregiver Amber J., from Baton Rouge, Louisiana shares:
“In an effort to help a client maintain personal dignity when providing intimate personal care, I am always prepared for the tasks we are about to do, ask the client if they are ready or in the case of someone who has dementia tell them what we are doing and while performing any of the personal care services talk with the client and take their mind off the actual tasks.  Using humor can also help.”

Caregiver Aletta W., from Baton Rouge, Louisiana shares:
“Gradually my clients and I become familiar with each other and get into a routine, so assisting them with personal care is not as awkward for them as it can be at the start of services.  Always ask questions of how your client likes things done, let them set the pace and become a partner with them in their care.”

Three issues that sometimes affect someone who needs personal care assistance:

•    Apprehension of having a new person in their home
•    Fear of showing vulnerability
•    Desire for privacy

A CAREGiver who prepares the bathroom/bedroom ahead of time, is showing the client they care about them. They are there to help and care about the client’s well-being.  If a client needs privacy, but safety is still an issue – the caregiver can get them set-up in the bathroom and do what is called a “stand-by assist”.  The caregiver can be right outside the door in case the client needs assistance.  If the client would like the caregiver to wash their back and hair, the caregiver can do this and offer to help with applying lotion or powder which can help the client feel pampered.

If a client is reluctant to take a bath, a caregiver can remind them of how good it feels to be fresh, put on their favorite lotion and get ready to go run an errand or go do an activity the client enjoys.  Sometimes someone with memory impairment does not want to bath, so you may have to coax them by telling them they are going to a meeting, someone is coming to visit or whatever helps get them clean and keeps them healthy.

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