Maintaining an Elderly Person’s Dignity in Dementia Care

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When an elderly person develops dementia, he or she has to rely on others for assistance for personal care and social interaction. In Safety Harbor, FL, dementia care professionals are available around the clock to help seniors with memory-related conditions age in place safely and comfortably. At Home Care Assistance, we understand the needs of seniors with dementia and the unique challenges they face as the disease progresses.

Dementia affects the elderly emotionally and psychologically. Seniors gradually lose their sense of self and are in a vulnerable state. The challenges of caring for a senior with dementia can bring about negative situations. If the quality of your interactions with your loved one grows increasingly negative, it may cause him or her to feel unworthy of self-esteem and respect. Loss of dignity may cause a senior with dementia to: 

  • Develop anxiety and depression
  • Become more prone to illness or injury
  • Lose weight because of loss of appetite
  • Have a diminished ability to recover from illness or injury
  • Display more anger
  • Act out 
  • Wander


Here are a few ways to provide high-quality dementia care without sacrificing your loved one’s dignity.

1. Demonstrate Acceptance and Respect

Despite the cognitive changes an elderly person goes through during the different stages of dementia, family members should continue showing love and respect. Do not ignore your loved one or treat him or her like an inanimate object. Maintain your loved one’s modesty, especially if he or she has become unaware. Avoid talking down to your loved one, and interact with him or her in the same way you would with any other adult. 

2. Encourage Choices

A senior’s identity is often expressed in the daily choices he or she makes. Allow your loved one to make personal choices concerning clothing, meals, and other aspects of daily living. This can boost his or her self-esteem and maintain his or her dignity. 

3. Use Effective Communication

As dementia progresses, it is often necessary for caregivers to alter their method of communication with their loved one. A senior with dementia may not initially understand what you are trying to convey. Your loved one’s brain might only absorb the beginning and end of sentences. Speak slower without being condescending. Seniors are not children. Do not use baby talk with your loved one. Be aware of your body language when communicating to avoid negative looks or gestures. 

4. Encourage Activities That Ensure Success

Encourage independence in a senior with dementia for as long as possible. Avoid situations that might cause negative reactions. Before engaging in daily activities, provide an explanation. If your loved one is resistant, be supportive and compassionate. Never force an issue with your loved one who has dementia. 

A professional caregiver can help your loved one maintain his or her independence for as long as possible. Families looking to hire a Safety Harbor caregiver can reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers receive extensive ongoing training to ensure they provide the high-quality in-home care seniors need and deserve.

5. Provide Positive Feedback

Avoid using negative phrases to describe your loved one’s behavior, and put unusual conduct in a positive light. Encourage activities based on behaviors. Praise your loved one for accomplishments, and show affection and appreciation for who he or she is in the present. 

6.  Show Honor

Family members honor their elderly parents by devising care around their individual personality, habits, and likes and dislikes. As your loved one loses the sense of self and reality, engage in activities that help him or her remember past events. These activities can help your loved one regain a sense of self and stimulate cognitive function. Play familiar, beloved music. Sit and look at photographs together. Remember family events. Enjoy short outings with your loved one, which might include going to a favorite restaurant, going shopping, or visiting a favorite location. 

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Safety Harbor, FL, senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Call (727) 330-7862 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.