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Looking after someone with an illness or a disability may involve helping them to move around. It's essential that you know about safe moving and handling so you don't cause any injury either to the person you are helping or yourself.

Many people who have participated in research about dignity have said that they know when they have not received dignity and respect from staff. Some of the feelings expressed include feeling undervalued, patronised, not listened to, discriminated against and unsafe. 

Simple steps can be followed to make sure that you do everything you can to protect a person’s dignity and make them feel valued and respected, smiling, taking the time to sit and listen to someone can make a lot of difference, a person should always be asked how they would like to be addressed, staff should not always assume that they want to be called by their first name.

It is important for carers to be patient, people who are receiving care may not always be able to say things clearly or act quickly which may slow the carer down, showing annoyance or impatience would not be working in a dignified manner.

Speaking to or addressing the person using patronising expressions for example “love” or “dear” or talking to someone as if they were a young child is disrespectful everyone should be spoken to as an equal.

Everyone who received care likes to feel they are in safe hands. Being mindful of the safety of the resident and being fully trained in any area such as bathing, adult protection and administering medication is paramount. 

Pain control is important because it enables people to carry on with their lives, a person should never be left in pain because of a carer’s schedule, if an individual complains of pain it should be dealt with immediately, steps should be taken to prevent the pain from occurring, it may be that you need to gain the consent of the individual to contact medical professionals to discuss improving pain control.

Privacy is important to people. Staff and carers should always maintain the person's privacy, keep information about the person confidential, maintain their personal privacy by always closing toilet doors and by providing coverage when dealing with personal hygiene. 

It is important as a carer that you do not unwittingly take independence away from people. This can occur when a carer does a task that the person has always managed to complete, for example a person may be able to dress themselves without assistance, a carer may help that person to dress because it takes less time, this may result in the person no longer completing the task themselves which reduces their independence, people should always be encouraged to keep or even improve their independence even though it may mean that the task takes longer to complete.

It is important for carers to remember that they are dealing with a human being and always treat them with dignity and respect, when there is more than one member of staff dealing with a person, speaking to each-other and not the person they are assisting is not treating them with dignity.

Carers should always use equipment correctly and ensure that they communicate with the person being moved at all times while making sure that they protect the dignity of the person by making sure that they are not exposed while in the process of being moved.

When caring for a person’s dignity consider how you would like to be treated.