By Debbie le Quesne

Dignity message still going strong after awareness event ends

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Dignity, dignity, dignity – it’s everywhere, two days after the ‘action’ day closed.

Events are still going on, trainers are training, and generally the practice of upholding dignity and sustaining it among our most vulnerable is big business in the nicest possible way. Dignity champions are signing up all over the UK.

Who would have thought that so much could come from this inititative? I am gob-smacked at how so many have risen to the challenge.

There’s a 10 point Dignity Challenge we can commit to:

1. Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse.

2. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family.

3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service.

4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control.

5. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants.

6. Respect people’s right to privacy.

7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution.

8. Engage with family members and carers as care partners.

9. Assist people to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem.

10. Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation.

People from all walks of life can make a difference and help deliver this campaign (see http://www.dignityincare.org.uk/Resources/Useful_resources_for_Dignity_Champions/Toolkit_for_action/).

The West Midlands Care Association actively supports the dignity challenge and it’s central to our training. Useful toolkits are available at the National Dignity Council website and cover issues as diverse as nutrition and feeding to human rights.

The following poem can be found on the dignitycare website. Sadly, it will not get the exposure there it deserves. Just take a few seconds to read it . . . and may be, pledge to become a dignity champion.

I can’t see 
I can’t speak

But I have wet myself

Please don’t shout, 
’She’s wet the chair again’

For all to hear.

Come on love stand up for me

Phew, what’s that smell?

Please don’t embarrass me

I’ve had an accident,

But don’t be mad with me,

You see I take a lot of tablets.

I don’t know what they do to me.

As I can’t hold on like I use to do.

So please don’t moan at me

Just show me A BIT OF DIGNITY

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