Beyond Harmony – Banner
Hugo Naturals – Banner
Valencia United Methodist Church – Under God’s Sea – Banner
Adage IT – Banner
Union Bank – Banner
Newhall Land – Banner
Patterson’s Collision Center – Banner
Valencia United Methodist Church – Luau Lunch – Banner
AV Party Rental – Banner
Newhall School District – Public Hearing – Banner
Facey – Banner
Academy Swim Club – Banner
Green Convergence – Sun Power – Banner
Nothing Bundt Cakes – Banner
Galpin Motors – Banner
College Of The Canyons – Banner
Simply Taylored – Banner
Brent’s Carpet One – Banner
Action Family Counseling – Banner
Disco Fever – Banner
IHOP – Banner
All Americans Bail Bonds – Banner
It is forecast to be Clear at 7:00 PM PDT on May 03, 2015
Home » Podcasts » I Am Not A Child: Dignity In Old Age

I Am Not A Child: Dignity In Old Age

By: Myles McNamara

Aunt Leila was unusually quiet when Alice picked her up after a doctor’s visit. Finally, Leila sat up and took a deep breath.

“I’m 84 years old and they treated me like a child. The receptionist called me Leila. I’d never met her, never even seen her before! The staff talked to me in little high voices and led me around. They didn’t want to listen to what I had to say, either. Nobody, not even a child, should be treated like a child!”

Negative beliefs and attitudes about growing older are pervasive. We talk about dignity in aging, but what does dignity mean? How do we ensure that people are treated with respect?

Dignity is the quality of being worthy of respect. How do we confer dignity? The way a person dresses, speaks, and carries themself tells us. Occupation, accomplishments, wealth, and confidence may indicate that people merit respect, but it should be fundamental in dealing with people at all times.

Aging can cause a loss of youthful vigor, occupation, friends and family. In advanced age, people may experience declining health and mental capacity. As a result, elders can be considered to be of little consequence. Older people have much to contribute if given the chance. Old does not equal incompetent.

We all want to decide about and direct our own lives. Caregivers, family members, and professionals must help elders preserve autonomy even in the face of diminished capacity. Capacity varies and changes. Elders may be able to do some things, make decisions about some, and delegate still others.  Allow them the level of autonomy that they can exercise. We can accomplish this by doing simple things.

1) Listen. Being heard is important. Acknowledgement matters. By listening and attending we acknowledge individual worth.

2) Foster decision-making within their capability level. Not being able to manage everything doesn’t mean they are unable to choose what socks to wear. Feeling in control is what’s important.

3) Show respect. Acknowledge, but don’t patronize.

4) Talk and act naturally. Elders thrive on the humor, teasing, and give and take of everyday conversation. They have a lifetime of experiences to share. Respect that. Take advantage of that.  The best classroom in the world can sometimes be at the feet of an elderly person.



Myles McNamara, Certified Senior Advisor and owner of Comfort Keepers In-home Care, providing assistance to seniors in the comfort of their own home. Offices located at 24355 Lyons Avenue, Suite 110. (661) 287-4200

Check out Myles’ show, Aging with Power, right here on KHTS!



I Am Not A Child: Dignity In Old Age

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About KHTS AM 1220

Action Family Counseling – News Banner
College Of The Canyons – News Banner
Beyond Harmony – News Banner
All American Bail Bonds – News Banner
Hugo Naturals – News Banner
AV Party Rental – News Banner
Academy Swim Club – News Banner
Dermacure – Tile
Mannered Mutt – Tile
Facey – Tile
IHOP – Tile
Patterson’s Collision Center – Tile
Disco Fever – Tile