How a person is treated by caretakers and others around them has a direct impact on their quality of life. For those under chronic care management living life with dignity is an important factor in the individual’s happiness and wellbeing. The vast majority of us live our lives with autonomy; we make our own decisions about out likes and dislikes, and for the most part we expect and receive a certain amount of respect. To lose those aspects of living can be devastating, particularly if that loss is unnecessary.
The Golden Rule
Perhaps one of the best ways to perceive living life with dignity under chronic care management is to consider the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. When a person needs chronic care some things that they had control over before are going to be controlled by others, usually the primary caretaker or those in the caretaking position.
Particularly in an institutional setting, the loss of your ability to direct your own life and make decisions for yourself can be depressing. Speak with a formerly independent senior citizen who still has sufficient cognitive ability but for some physical reason now has to abide by the rules and time constraints of a care facility and you may hear the frustration of losing the freedom of choice.
Allowing people to make the choices they are capable of making while under chronic care management helps them hold on to that little piece of dignity. In some cases, this may not be an issue, but for those where it does matter, the smallest acknowledgement that they have worth is appreciated.
Dignity has to do with self-respect and a sense of feeling valued by others. Under chronic care management, a person’s sense of dignity can easily be lost over time as caretaking becomes routine. It is not unusual for the care of another to feel burdensome. After a while the temptation to be less than gracious can lead to shortcuts including removing even small choices.
The erosion of dignity and loss of autonomy can send a person spiraling into depression as they feel less and less valued by others. On the other hand, affirming a person’s sense of dignity helps enhance the quality of life, even though in many respects the quality of life may be declining.
Chronic Care Management and Caretaker Self-Care
It can be challenging work helping to maintain another’s sense of dignity while providing chronic care management. Therefore it is important that caretakers themselves have the support and respite required to do the job well. Self-care including regular medical check-ups is vital for caretakers in order for them to adequately meet the daily challenges they face. When caretakers see to their own needs as well as the needs of those under chronic care management, everyone benefits.
PCP for Life can help by providing caring, compassionate healthcare for your entire family. We understand the stress endured by those providing chronic care management as well as the health issues of those receiving care. Be sure to take care of your physical health; PCP is glad to help with that.