When you hear about “preserving your senior’s dignity,” what does that really mean? If you’re still trying to figure out some details about what supports her dignity properly, these ideas can help. 

The Golden Rule Applies

Elder Care Merlin, OR: Protecting Your Senior’s Dignity

Elder Care Merlin, OR: Protecting Your Senior’s Dignity

The Golden Rule, the one about treating others as you would like to be treated, definitely applies in caregiving. When you’re following that rule, you’re going to be respectful of your senior and her needs and you may be better able to put yourself in her position. Being able to empathize with what your senior is facing can give you what you need to be able to make sure that no matter what she needs, you’re meeting those needs with dignity. 

Support Your Senior without Taking Over 

Something else that can be dignity robbing for your senior is when you accidentally take over for her when she can still handle something. There are ways to offer support without diminishing what she’s able to still do. Empowerment, choice, and dignity all go hand in hand. Make sure your elderly family member knows that you and other support professionals, like elder care providers, are there to help her, not to railroad her. 

Learn to Rein in Your Emotional Reactions 

Caregiving is extremely emotional. You’re likely to experience emotions you did not expect to experience at all. You might be angry, frustrated, elated, and terrified, all in one afternoon. That’s part of the ups and downs of the caregiving experience. But if you’re sharing all of those emotional responses with your senior, she may not be able to process them in the same ways and in the same timeframe you are. She may also feel responsible for some of the things you’re feeling, which is definitely not the case. So do your best to process your emotions on your own, without making that part of every situation. 

Regulate Your Tone of Voice 

Lots of times teenagers are told to watch their tone of voice. Your senior might have even told you that a time or two over the years. That can be frustrating to be on the receiving end of, but it’s also important advice now. Your tone of voice can imply an awful lot to your senior, even if you’re not putting actual words to it. For instance, if your voice betrays that you’re frustrated, your senior may feel responsible and hurt. And she may even start to feel uncomfortable or make “mistakes” that endanger her or that make the situation worse. Making sure you’re not putting out messages you don’t mean is an important way to avoid that problem. 

Preserving your senior’s dignity is an important part of your role as her caregiver. It allows her to meet this situation with grace.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Merlin, OR, please contact the caring staff at Southern Oregon In-Home Care today! Proudly Serving Seniors in Josephine & Jackson Counties, Oregon. Call us today! (541) 236-4247.