Ann, My experience of being a dignity champion
I am a dignity champion at Coombe care home and one of the ways in which we uphold the dignity and self worth for our residents is to involve them in their own meetings.
I usually invite a small group of residents into a quiet area, like the dining room in between meal times, I usually make a pot of tea and have biscuits to make it user friendly and welcome some residents to join in. Some refuse but others are keen to have a chat and put their points of view across.
Usually we talk about what is going on in the home, for example a trip that is arranged, and I ask the residents for their views on what they think they will like and possibly not like.
The Christmas period brought up lots of memories for the residents of their past Christmases. One lady said how they all came from big families in those days so her Dad used to make toys for the children. Another man said his father made toys for him and his brother and how they roasted chestnuts on the open fire on the little spade that came with the companion set.
It is a good time for residents to share stories and give their point of view, and feel that what they say is being listened to. Following this meeting we had a Christmas party and all friends and families were invited to join in. We had a buffet prepared by our cook, some tipples, and we had a country and western singer getting everybody's feet tapping to music and some dancing! It is so nice to see the residents' enjoying themselves with their relatives.