Dignity & Respect
The area that correlates the highest with whether an individual would recommend the facility to others is Dignity and Respect.
According to Psychology Today, dignity is an individual’s inherent value and worth as a human being. Respect is earned through that individual’s actions. Providing your customers with dignity means showing them that they have the right to be treated as someone with value. This can include likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, wants and needs. Making decisions and choices, unless facing cognitive failure. It’s a human right.
HOW DO YOU SHOW RESPECT?
Dignity and respect can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Here are some ways our top performers said their staff shows customers that they respect them.
Knock before opening the door. Close windows, doors, and curtains. Provide as much privacy as possible when helping someone use the bathroom or change their clothes.
Don’t talk down to them as if they are a child or a pet. Do not use a different tone than you would to other adults. Don’t talk about them as if they aren’t there. Don’t discuss confidential information unless you have their permission.
Address them respectfully. Call them by their proper name.
Introduce yourself. Always smile. Greet them when you are near them.
Be kind. Show daily care and compassion.
Establish a relationship with them.
Display body language that reinforces your verbal communication.
“We really do our best to listen to what the patient wants. We try to be as accommodating as we
possibly can. We go by the rule that as long as there isn’t a medical order or reason why the patient
can’t do something, then we try to accommodate it as much as possible. The way we treat them is
more of a mentality than a procedure. It’s recognizing that they are people and they are here for
reason. If there is anything we can do to make them feel more comfortable or at home, we try to do
Ian Strand, Marquis Care at Newberg
ENCOURAGE DECISION MAKING
Ask the residents to share their opinions. Show consideration and empathy when they voice their thoughts and concerns. Provide opportunities for them to choose when and what they eat, activities they engage in, and so forth. Learn their preferences and goals upfront. If the person prefers to do something a certain way, honor it.
PROVIDE A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT
Make residents feel comfortable, like they are at home. Ensure that management staff introduces themselves within the first few days of admission. Always ask for feedback and have an open-door policy. Address problems as quickly as possible. Ask if there’s anything more you can do. Display commitment to them.
Ensure cleanliness and care both of the resident and the living environment. Don’t leave them in soiled underclothing. Make sure they have their needs met.
HOW DO YOU TRAIN YOUR STAFF?
Talk about dignity and respect in orientation. Education your staff on resident rights. Discuss unique situations, such as how to care for younger patients. Clearly communicate your expectations.
Hold regular and annual staff training. Teach staff how to communicate their respect verbally. Help staff understand the right of dignity. Roll out education as mistakes happen so that the whole team can learn from errors and avoid similar problems in the future. Encourage staff to learn from other employees. Implement a mentor program.
A WAY OF BEING
Demonstrate respect and dignity as a leader. Show by example how to treat residents and staff. Address problems with employees in private. Make talking about dignity and respect part of everyday routine.
WHAT CAN OTHERS DO TO IMPROVE?
LEADERSHIP & STAFF
Start by hiring the right people. Look for individuals who care about others. Encourage staff to empower your residents.
“I think that’s just the expectation and standard. It comes from the top down and bottom up. We try to demonstrate that as a leadership. We practice what we preach. We hire the right people with the right mindset.”
Dave Egbert, Fairfield Village of Layton
A RESIDENT-CENTERED FOCUS
Take time to get to know your residents. See residents as individuals who deserve respect and dignity.
“Our residents are our customers. We’re here to make sure we make their day the best it can be. It’s just our culture to treat them with dignity and respect. There’s nothing specific that we do. It’s just the general training on dignity and respect, and common courtesy. We emphasize to our staff to treat customers the way you would want to be treated.”
Donna Stewart, Pontotoc Health & Rehab