Skip to content

Dignity in care: Communication

Good communication can help people to maintain their dignity. Take Matthew, a young man with Down’s Syndrome who lives in a shared house. In this film, Matthew’s encouraged to use a diary so that he knows what he’s going to be doing on any particular week. It’s a good way for staff to find out what’s been happening in Matthew’s life.

It’s equally important to make time to support people that you offer care and support to. The film shows how, for older people, past memories of being at the beach can be used as a useful communication tool.

Communication in practice can mean asking people how they prefer to be addressed and to respect their wishes; giving people information about the service in advance and in a suitable format, and not assuming that you know what people want because of their culture, ability or any other factor.

Messages for practice

  • Good communication is essential in ensuring dignity in care.
  • It is important that people have time to express their needs and preferences and that staff understand the person they are supporting.
  • It is vital that staff develop other ways of communicating with people who have a cognitive impairment of limited speech.
  • People with dementia or people with learning difficulties can be assisted to choose things by being offered a selection of things or show pictures.

Who will find it useful?

Care staff, commissioners of services, family carers and anyone in the community who can provide dignity by supporting people to have choice and control over their lives.