Dignity in the care of older adults living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities

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2023-01-01

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Dignity is a fundamental right that can be subjectively experienced and rooted in a person's perception of being treated and cared for. Care refers to a set of specific activities combined in a complex life-sustaining network, including long-term care facilities, which involves various services designed to meet a person's health or personal care needs. However, older residents' human rights have been disrespected, and widened the gaps between theory and practice regarding safeguarding their rights and dignity in long-term facilities and nursing homes. This paper aims to discuss threats to dignity and elucidate some strategies to promote and conserve dignity in care, including the person-centered practice in long-term care facilities. Some barriers to the dignity of older residents involve the organizational culture, restraints of time, heavy workload, burnout, and lack of partnership between the residents, their families, and the long-term care homes' staff. Person-centered integrated care quality frameworks are core components of a good quality of care in these spaces in high-income countries. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how weak long-term care policies were and demonstrated that much progress in the dignity of care in long-term care facilities and nursing homes is needed. In low- and middle-income countries, long-term care policies do not accompany the accelerated and intense aging process, and there are other threats, like their invisibility to the public sector and the prejudices about this service model. It's urgent to create strategies for designing and implementing sustainable and equitable long-term care systems based on a person-centered service with dignity to everyone who needs it.

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F1000Research, v. 11.

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