Dignity. It's a word we hear and use all the time. For those of us working in aging services, we know that in the long-term regulations as far back as OBRA '87 you will find that the word 'dignity', along with 'respect', are two of the more commonly seen words in the document. And it makes sense - who doesn't believe that it is a fundamental right for residents in nursing homes to be treated with dignity, and don't we all want to be treated with dignity as well?
Marianne Schmenk, who spent the last 15 years of her career managing a regional long-term care ombudsman program in NW Ohio, has recently had an "A-ha" regarding the concept of dignity, and she is here to share her thoughts with you, and hopefully stimulate some thinking. No, she doesn't' have all the answers on how to operationalize dignity, though there is surely a tie to person-centered care, but she is eager to share ideas and get the conversation going.