When we talk about respect in the workplace, we probably think to the traditional definition “a deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements”. However, when we are discussing in home care or healthcare providers, the secondary meaning is much more important. “Due regard for feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others”. When entering someone’s home this respect takes on another level of importance. I would hope that most healthcare providers are drawn to their profession because they place high value in human life and health, and genuinely care about others.

What is respect and what does it look like in the home care setting?

When providing this care, respect should be regarded in all the following areas; confidentiality, privacy, consent, culture, religion, personal boundaries, and communication. This is best given through many questions and follow up. It also takes meaning as someone may have specific wishes on how they are cared for and different levels of confidentiality. A large consideration is respecting client’s boundaries and decisions, even when it conflicts with your own recommendations.

Home care is often avoided by many for fear that it will reduce independence, cross personal boundaries, or expose needs that one may want left unmet. Mainly, that there is a greater chance of not being respected once you allow someone in your home to care for you. One will find the opposite when they are provided with the highest level of care. Care providers should be asking many questions to ensure a client is being respected and boundaries are being met.

What respect sounds like: