Identity is the perception of a sense of self, with regards to physical appearance, social relationships, and physical and cognitive abilities.
When adjusting to life in a care home, changes such as retirement or losing one’s family home can result in the resident experiencing a loss of identity.
For people who have lost their independence in many ways, it is vital to positively reinforce a patient’s self-perception and identity to ensure their well-being. This is particularly the case for dementia patients, where often there is already a sense of powerlessness.
‘I actually think I value my sense of self more importantly than my family or relationships or health or wealth or wisdom. I do see myself as being on my own, ultimately, you know, and that means you have to be comfortable with that person.’
– (69-year-old female retiree, cited in Kroger 2006)
Keeping ownership of personal items, particularly clothing, is crucial to one’s sense of identity and independence. Many elderly people care greatly about their personal aesthetic, and take great pride in their physical appearance. Their clothing, style, and possessions allow them to express their personal and social identities, and can also serve as anchors to cherished memories. Many find that reminiscing brought on by physical reminders helps to reinforce their self-perception.
Nevertheless, thousands of personal items go missing in UK care homes every year. To ensure a dignified way of safely returning your resident’s belongings, please get in touch with Fixxon.