Are we ensuring Dignity choice and control?

September 10, 2018

Indulging me….or supporting?!

Last term I had been helping out at my son’s school for the odd hour.  I’m relishing the thought of helping this particular day…it’s puppet making!!!

There are four on the go, cutting and making and sewing.  A few blunt needle injuries but nothing to write home about.

The incident

And then it happens… Whilst my back is turned my son has drawn on two legs well inside of where they should be… it looks odd. The girl next to him has gone full ball gown, feathers with sequins (I think she may have used up the entire education budget).

Battle of the wills

I ask him if he’s finished.  ‘I have’ he said, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to add on any decoration? I ask.  ‘no’.  he says.

A plain puppet with legs well within the margins…no decoration.  I want to give it a makeover – bedazzle it, make it my kind of puppet, with pizzazz and glitter.

Making it ‘right’

He heads off to class.  I place ‘Mr Plain’ with the other glittery puppets and pause.  Reaching for the scissors, I cut two emerald green velvet circles for the dragon’s horns, and place two glittery pompoms on top.  I know I shouldn’t have done it as soon as I do.

The confession

Later that evening before supper I make my confession, there is a long pause….  He’s clearly upset.

“What did you do that for!!! “ He’s hurt.

“I thought you might like it,” I say.  I know that’s not true. I wanted to make the change to satisfy me.

Who are we doing it for?

My story can easily be converted to where you are and the service you give…my mind goes to incidents I have seen or read…changing people’s clothes choices, throwing away what we do not like, making that picture ‘right’.

However ‘small’ we consider our ‘alteration’ to people’s independence– it still can effect people’s choice and dignity.

Dignity Do’s

Sometimes we need a little help to remember why the actions we take are so important and what we can do to ensure we respect choice and help maintain people’s dignity.

The Dignity in Care Campaign

  1. The Dignity in Care campaign launched in November 2006 led by the National Dignity Council does just that. The 10 Dignity Do’s describes values and actions that high quality services that respect people’s dignity should do’ including Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control

I’m keeping my dignity Do’s as life principals as well as to Health and Social Care Services.

Remember… every action has a reaction.

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Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist


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