Thursday, May 19, 2011


Dignity – is important for self-esteem. A person with dementia (PWD) deserves to be treated in such a way that they can retain their dignity as much as possible.

Situation #1 – the PWD needs their dentures scrubbed.

“Give me your dentures and I’ll scrub them.” Nobody wants to pop out their teeth and hand them to someone else.

“Here’s a dish to put your dentures in. I’ll be back in a moment and clean them for you. I’ll bring you a cup of tea to sip while I do that.” Giving the PWD a moment’s privacy to accomplish this helps them retain their dignity. They may forget and have to be reminded why the dish is there, but using the same dish each and every time will help.

Situation #2 – the PWD needs regular trips to the bathroom to prevent accidents. Few things will squash our dignity faster than having an accident.

“You need to go to the bathroom.” This approach rarely works, as the PWD may lack the ability to recognize the sensation of a full bladder anymore. They don’t think they need to go. They resent being told that they do.

“After you use the bathroom and wash your hands, we’ll have a snack.” You’ve given a logical reason why the trip to the bathroom is needed. Substitute the snack with a walk or playing a game or whatever works for the PWD.

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