Poor language in aged care - are you guilty?

2 Feb 2017 1:05 PMDPT DPT
Poor language in aged care - are you guilty?

Do you say "difficult person" or " a feed" about your residents? You may not realise you are but it is robbing a person's dignity.

Staff can become dignity robbers if they use the wrong language in the workplace, in home care or an aged care facility.

Here are 5 examples.

1. We are not “allowing” someone to be independent. We are not “letting him do it himself” This implies we have power over that person. Instead, we are “encouraging” or we are "supporting" them.

 

2.  A resident is not "a feed" or "a shower" or they are “room 12”. They are a Mrs Smith who needs assistance. Simple.

 

3. Staff can do too much for a person particularly when the workplace is short staffed. This can strip a person too early of their independence and dignity. It is putting the staff priorities ahead of the person’s needs and wants. Feeding a resident when they can do it themselves is taking away a fundamental skill.

 

4. People do not “suffer” dementia they are people “living” with dementia. Alzheimers Australia produce a language guideline info sheet here>> 

 

5. Home care workers (HCW) should not be called “carers”. This is putting them on the same level as the primary carer. Coming in for a few hours a week then leaving, as home care workers do, is nothing like the 24/7 care that is provided by family and friends. This care can be isolating and stressful for the caregiver so they should be supported by the HCW.

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If you liked this blog read "Behaviours is not a dirty word".

The blog talks about being careful not to use words such as  "challenging behaviours" or "behaviours of concern". Read here>> 

Another blog is about avoiding using labels such as 

"she's always like that","difficult" and "attention seeker". Read here>>

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