Dignity Action Day
Dignity Action Day gives people who work in care homes and members of the general public an opportunity to bring attention to the right of everyone to dignity. Each year, Dignity Action Day is celebrated in different ways by caring organisations across the country. The National Dignity Council leads the Dignity in Care campaign to promote good practice that upholds the right of clients to dignity in every aspect of their care. Their core values include having dignity in our hearts, minds and actions as we care for people, so that the quality of care in all private care homes is of a high standard.
Dignity Action Day has taken place each February since 2010, and private nursing homes and care homes all over the country have joined in to celebrate the day with different activities ranging from tea parties to dances and bingo sessions.
A Vintage Tea Party
A care home at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire hosted an afternoon of nostalgia to promote Dignity Action Day on 1 February, 2016. A high tea was served on vintage china to the elderly residents, who also enjoyed hearing some old familiar wartime songs performed by a local entertainer with piano accompaniment.
The home’s activities co-coordinator explained that the event was designed to combat the negative perceptions held by some members of the public that people in private care homes lose their dignity and independence. The home is looking forward to the opening of its new coffee shop, where residents and their families will soon be able to enjoy socialising together.
A Winter Wonderland
A nursing home in Stallingborough, near Grimsby, celebrated Dignity Action Day in a different way. A care assistant who is the private nursing home’s dignity champion decorated a room as a winter wonderland complete with Christmas trees, snowflakes, snow globes and pictures of penguins and polar bears. Residents had a lovely day, enjoying lunch and a tea party and watching a screening of the classic 1946 film It’s A Wonderful Life, which they had chosen. Treats such as homemade fudge, popcorn and coconut ice were sold, and the whole memorable day demonstrated the commitment the home and its staff have to upholding the right of residents to dignity and choice.
Care homes are encouraged to include residents and staff in discussions about what activities to arrange for the day, and for residents to invite their families and friends to participate. Homes should publicise their event in the local press and on social media as well as through posters and newsletters so that everyone understands what the day is about.
From care homes in Surrey to nursing homes in Aberdeenshire, Dignity Action Day events can raise awareness throughout the UK of the vital importance of dignity in care.