Wednesday 1 February saw care professionals from across the country arrange simultaneous events to mark Dignity Action Day.
Here, we'll take a look at the key aims of Dignity Action Day, and some of the events held to mark this year's edition.
What is Dignity Action Day?
According to the organisers, Dignity Action Day is an annual initiative designed to "ensure people who use care services are treated as individuals and are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily lives".
By asking both care professionals and the general public to promote dignity in their places of work, Dignity Action Day aims to:
- Raise awareness of the importance of a respectful approach to care
- Help people receiving care have a special day
- Establish care standards as a community-wide responsibility
- Highlight the exceptional work of carers
- Enable people receiving care to meet others in the local community
These are also factors that we keep at the heart of our approach to live-in care, and we welcome all events held nationally aimed at improving the quality of life for older people.
What happened on Dignity Action Day 2017?
Here's a brief introduction to some of our favourite activities from the day:
- Waltham Forest Pensioners’ Convention held a special meeting to discuss what could be done to improve care standards in the borough, with speakers including MP Stella Creasy, Mayor Saima Mahmud and Director of Adult Social Care Jana Burton.
- The Honiton branch of Devon Senior Voice penned a letter to Devon Clinical Commissioning Group urging a rethink of planned proposals to limit local hospital beds, stating: "the availability of local health care beds in Honiton as essential to older patients’ dignity".
- Residents in Burtonwood were amazed as their care home was turned into a wedding venue for the day. Staff played the roles of bride, groom and priest to enable residents to relive some of their fondest memories, complete with a champagne reception and 1950s-style dance.
- Sight loss charity The Beacon Centre marked Dignity Action Day by inviting service users to discuss their concept of dignity, while staff and volunteers spoke about the action they've taken to try and achieve this for service users.
- 14 care homes in Gloucestershire celebrated this initiative by hosting a fancy dress tea party for residents, their families and care staff. An Order of Saint John's Care Trust spokesman said: “Dignity and respect is an important part of the trust’s key values... we’re proud to be supporting Dignity Action Day".
This is just a selection of the events held nationally, with dedicated care professionals going above and beyond to ensure the best possible treatment for the people they look after.
But, taking steps to ensure dignity and respect for older people receiving care shouldn't be something that only happens once each year. Enhancing quality of life should form the foundation for ongoing, consistent improvements to overall care standards.