This is about more than ‘darling’ and ‘love’ – this is about dignity

Posted on September 21st, by geoff in CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger DAVID WATERS

Chair, Howden Care

In Andrea Sutcliffe’s article on ‘terms of endearment’ (CQC website 15.09.15), she is spot on when she states that how carers address those in their care should be a question of individual choice, context and most importantly, dignity. We should gain agreement to being called ‘love’, ‘darling’ or other informal names at the outset. Carers and care managers simply need to let residents know that staff occasionally refer to their residents informally and ask them if they object to that. If they do, then a sticker on their door could let staff know the resident prefers not to be addressed informally.

It is the lack of respect and dignity which causes great concern. My own grandmother, long since departed having reached 100, was christened Edith Cora, but known as Cora all her life. Shortly before she died she was admitted to an NHS hospital where they insisted on calling her Edith (a name which she hated) and despite her own and our entire family’s protestations, the NHS told us they could not change the sign over her bed head confirming her name to be Edith.

To my mind this shows a lack of respect and undermines dignity. Love, pet, darling or other names of endearment are fine, providing the person being called by those names has no issue with them.

Regardless – this should not be a regulator’s issue – they have far more important issues to concentrate on.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

One response to “This is about more than ‘darling’ and ‘love’ – this is about dignity”

  1. John Burton says:

    As you say, David, “love, dear, darling” etc are alright for some and not others, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to tell which is which. Just ask. (But no notices on room doors please! That’s a CQC-type solution.)
    Without going to the home in question, I have no idea whether it’s OK there or not, although I admire their reported decision to carry on because they claim to have thought about it and think it is OK. The problem here is CQC because we can’t trust their judgements.
    The organisation forces their inspectors to “measure” every detail of a service, feed it into a “judgement” machine, and out pops the answer. No room for real judgement about the whole place, putting the details into context and the overall feel of the place.
    How can a “CARE HOME” be good on “caring” and be homely, and yet be judged as “inadequate”? It happens. Frequently CQC reports well on “caring” and poorly on other categories. It makes little sense to me.

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