When someone loses their sense of dignity, their sense of self is lost as well. How does this happen?
It happens when we deny that person the chance to live to their fullest potential.
It happens as their voice becomes a whisper as we snuff it out with neglect and marginalization.
Senior home care situations aim to preserve as much of that person as possible; allowing the senior to live at home for as long as possible increases the probability that they will feel more like themselves. In the course of care, it is imperative to take every step to ensure that person’s ability to live a full and happy life.
One way to do this is intentionally encouraging them to share their story. Taking little moments each day to ask deep and insightful questions will make all the difference in their day. Working with the family to incorporate this interaction into their visits will deepen connections, relationships, and ultimately increase the quality of life for the senior.
If possible, taking the opportunity to write down or record the answers and conversations with the senior will contribute to a wonderful legacy of the senior you care for. Every person’s story is valuable and important regardless of his or her circumstance.
When a person is asked to share their story, it gives them a renewed sense of self, dignity, and worth. The impact on the people who will hear the story will be immeasurable. We are losing stories every day, stories that have the potential to fundamentally shape and change the way we see the world and interact with each other.
What will you do to make sure that every voice has the chance to be heard?
Will you sit down with the seniors in your care and ask them about their life?
Will you ask your mom or dad to tell you their stories?
Will you make the time to share your story?
Article originally appeared on LinkedIn