Editor’s Note: In any caregiving situation, we remind our readers to remember the Caregiving Basics: Listen, Pray, Respect the Grief Journey and Preserve the Dignity. This post is an overview of Preserve the Dignity of the Person.
What do you see as you care for a person who is suffering? Do you see that person as a burden, an irritation, an interruption, or an old, “needy” person?
As caregivers–whether we are caring for a co-worker who is going through a divorce, or a friend who has cancer, or caring-full-time for a spouse or parent–we need to remember that the suffering person is first of all a child created by God. That person bears the image of God, and we need to preserve that person’s dignity and self-respect.
To preserve another person’s dignity, please remember:
- Each person is created by God and in some mysterious way God dwells in each person. Jesus said, “When (and what) you do to the least of these, you do it to me.”
- Everyone with whom you interact is a human being with thoughts, feelings, struggles, dreams and experiences.
- Treat the person as you would want to be treated if you were in his or her specific situation. (Golden Rule)
For more information on how to preserve the dignity of those you care for, see our Preserve the Dignity page.