Each of us, at any age, has the right to be treated in a caring and respectful way. At Decatur House, providing excellent care for our residents is top of our minds, every day. And as we want to deliver that care in the most respectful and inclusive way possible it’s important to acknowledge and protect our residents’ rights:
- to know what their rights are
- to be treated at all times with dignity and respect
- to live in a safe environment
- of choice and independence
- to practice/don’t practice religion
- to choose if they participate/don’t participate in activities
- to control their care (accept or refuse services)
- to privacy
- to confidential and private records
- to control personal finances
- to be free from abuse of any/all kinds (including humiliation, intimidation, exploitation and neglect)
- to be free from chemical or physical constraints
- to voice grievances without fear of reprisal
Small Gestures Matter
The smallest efforts can mean a great deal to a resident. Talking with a resident at their eye level, even if it means kneeling down; calling them by their preferred name; or offering them a simple smile or look of encouragement conveys respect and compassion. Gestures like these help build — and strengthen — your relationships with residents.
Take is Slow and Remember to Listen to the Resident
Accommodating a resident’s needs must always be done in a way that maintains a resident’s dignity and self-respect. While you are engaging with residents you can help them retain their independence and sense of self-worth by:
- Asking if they need assistance before you take action on their behalf
- Walking slowly and staying by the resident’s side for those who have limited mobility. (Never hurry ahead or rush them.)
- Learning about and then tapping into a resident’s interests and expertise which allows them to speak confidently and proudly about a topic (Read our Resident Spotlights on our website!)
- Letting residents make their own decisions. (But if this seems overwhelming to the resident, limit the number of choices you offer them.)
Although there may be times where you have concerns about the choices and decisions a resident in your care is making, you must continue to honor the resident’s right to make decisions on their own. However, if their choices are posing a risk to themselves or others try to reach a compromise that will make the resident’s decision safer.
Build Healthy Relationships
Everyone on staff at Decatur House plays an important part in the quality of the residents’ lives. For many, we are family. Our combined efforts and attention help them navigate their daily activities and tasks, and to express themselves. Showing respect, honoring their rights, and meeting residents where they are at serve to reduce stress and gain trust. From there, healthy, respectful, and sustainable resident-staff relationships will follow.
We thank all of our Decatur House staff for their efforts caring for and communicating with the residents efficiently and respectfully every day.