What do you see nurse, what do you see? What are you thinking when you look at me? A crabbit old woman, not very wise, Uncertain of habit with far away eyes, Who dribbles her food and makes no reply When you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try.”
People with MND have the right to be treated as individuals, with dignity and respect:
- being offered a personal care plan to specify what care and support they need
- being offered the opportunity to develop an Advance Care Plan to ensure their wishes are met, and appropriate end-of-life care is provided in their chosen setting
- getting support to help them make the right choices to meet their needs when using personalised care options
- prompt access to appropriate communication support and aids
- opportunities to be involved in research if they so wish.
Dignified care needs to be person-centred, and not just focused on tasks and processes. An important element of care is to be aware of, and sensitive to, the features of a person’s life including their values, feelings and beliefs. Being in need of support both physically and emotionally can make anyone feel vulnerable. Some groups of people who are especially vulnerable and at risk of the infringements of their dignity are those that:
- are acutely ill and physically compromised
- cannot tend to their own needs
- are, or feel, unable to speak out for themselves
- lack the capacity to make decisions
- are cognitively impaired.
It is important that privacy is respected in all care settings so that people can maintain their dignity. Privacy is very important during personal care but also with regard to people’s personal space.