Crucial dimensions constituting dignity experience in persons living with dementia

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Abstract

Dignity is seen as an essential need, fundamental right, and inherent quality of each human being. There is however, a need for increased knowledge on crucial dimensions constituting dignity experience in persons living with dementia. This study explored personal dimensions of life which persons with dementia perceived crucial for experiencing dignity in their daily lives. Based on the findings of eight empirical sub-dimensions, three main dimensions crucial for constituting dignity experience, were identified through hermeneutical interpretation: A historical dignity-dimension, acknowledging one's own life-projects and life-history; an intrapersonal dignity-dimension, recognizing one's own human worth, and living according to internal values; and an interpersonal dignity-dimension, experiencing being part of a caring and confirming communion. Knowledge of dignity preservation should be a crucial foundation for future dementia care.

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