The Caring Corner - Blog

Why Dignity is the Crucial Element in the Best Dementia Care

By Emma Dickison

Recently, we shared this article by a caregiving colleague on our Home Helpers social media channels about what she would ask if she’s ever diagnosed with dementia.

This hypothetical "wish list" includes some of these points:

If I get dementia, ask me to tell you a story from my past.
If I get dementia, make sure I always have my favorite music playing within earshot.
If I get dementia, don’t exclude me from parties and family gatherings.
If I get dementia, remember that I am still the person you know and love.

The writer makes some good points, and I would recommend her essay to anyone who is or someday may find themselves loving someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

In other words, almost everybody.

Alzheimer's and humanity

A consistent thread of wisdom is woven through these recommendations: the understanding that our loved one with dementia may have different challenges and different abilities, but their fundamental humanity — the essence that makes them the person we care about — endures. 

The person experiencing dementia may need a caregiver for household chores or the requirements of daily living. But that doesn’t mean they want help.

What they want is what they’ve always wanted and, indeed, deserved.

Dignity.

Each person is more than the sum of their recollections. And as caregivers, we all remind ourselves every day that that our calling is not just to complete a set of tasks, but to care.

For a fellow human being.

An Alzheimer's or dementia patient's fundamental humanity — that essence that makes them the person we care about — remains always.


Learn more about the Alzheimer's and dementia care services provided by Home Helpers.