DO NOT FORGET THE PERSON!
"Do not forget the person!” is the key message of a new multi-agency campaign which has been launched today by the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) to remind those caring for older people of the basic principles of dignified care.
Against the backdrop of media publicity of instances of breaches of care, a group of charities and professionals have produced a poster and flyer which highlight what should be standard practice with regard to ‘Dignity and Respect’, ‘Communication’, ‘Eating and Drinking’, ‘Mobility’ and ‘Use of the Toilet’.The resources are being distributed to care homes and nursing staff and are designed to encourage all those caring for older people to treat them as individuals by listening to them and their relatives when appropriate.
A specially designated campaign page on the BGS website – www.bgs.org.uk/campaigns/dignity2010.html - contains background information and lists suggested reading materials for those wanting to further their understanding of how to provide dignified care.Visitors to the page can download copies of the resources or ask for copies to be sent to them by calling 020 7608 1369.
Dr Jackie Morris, BGS Dignity Champion said: “Vulnerable older people deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, humanity and compassion.These materials emphasise the importance of allowing an individual to gain or maintain control over their daily activities and in particular, their personal care.If we fail to do this, older people become frightened, hungry, thirsty, bored, often more confused and more dependent, losing their dignity and individuality.Relatives can also feel ignored and unsupported.The prompts we have put together demonstrate that good quality of care can be realistic and deliverable and we hope they will be acted on.”
For more information or to interview Jackie Morris please contact Iona-Jane Harris on 020 7608 8573 or on 07766 227724
Notes to Editors
1.The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) is a membership association of doctors, nurses, therapists, scientists and others with a particular interest in the care of the frail older person and in promoting better health in old age.The BGS strives to promote better understanding of the healthcare needs of older people and to ensure that older patients are treated with dignity and respect by all clinical staff they come into contact with.Visit: www.bgs.org.uk
2. The ‘Do not forget the person’ resources are endorsed by Age UK, AGILE (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy), the BGS, Cardiff University, the College of Occupational Therapists, the Department of Health, the English Community Care Association, the Relatives and Residents Association and the Royal College of Nursing.They can be downloaded and / or ordered from: www.bgs.org.uk/campaigns/dignity2010.html
3.The BGS worked in collaboration with a range of charities and professionals to develop an earlier campaign entitled, ‘Behind Closed Doors’, which focused on privacy and dignity with regard to use of the toilet.A toolkit, which included a campaign leaflet, a standards document, checklist and decision aide for use by professionals and the lay public, aimed to empower, educate and influence providers and policy makers enabling older people to have more choice over their use of the toilet.The use of the toilet as a marker of human rights has been very successful in improving quality of care.To access the toolkit or request materials visit: www.bgs.org.uk