Dignity in Care

The Dignity in Care program aims to change the culture of SA health services by reinforcing the importance of treating patients with dignity and respect.

Dignity in Care was first launched in Australia in early 2011 at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH), with Maggie Beer as the patron. The program started with 300 enthusiastic champions, and now has over 1000.


Dignity is concerned with how people feel, think and behave in relation to the value of themselves and others. To treat someone with dignity is to treat them in a way that is respectful of them and as valued individuals. In a care situation, dignity may be promoted or lessened by physical environment, organisation cultures, attitudes and behaviour of the nursing team or others. When dignity is present, people feel in control, valued, confident, comfortable and able to make decisions for themselves.

10 Dignity in Care Principles

  1. Zero tolerance of all forms of abuse
  2. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family
  3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service
  4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possibly level of independence, choice, and control
  5. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants
  6. Respect people’s privacy
  7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution
  8. Engage with family members and carers as care partners
  9. Assist people to maintain confidence and a positive self esteem
  10. Act to alleviate people's loneliness and isolation.

Keep the heart in Dignity conference

Please view the 2014 Dignity In Care conference video below.

Speakers included:

  • Patron Maggie Beer talking about a "Good food life"
  • Paralympian and Disability Services Australia Dignity Ambassador Libby Kosmala
  • Author, poet and young onset dementia champion Kate Swaffer

More information

Dignity in Care Australia

Dignity in Care Australia proudly support the Caring for Cognitive Impairment campaign. With its partners, Dignity in Care Australia Champions aim to change the culture of Australian Health Services by reinforcing the importance of treating patients with dignity and respect. 

To learn more about Dignity in Care Australia and the 10 Dignity in Care Principles, please visit the Dignity in Care website. 

National Caring for Cognitive Impairment campaign

The National Caring for Cognitive Impairment campaign was officially launched in early 2016. This campaign will further commit CALHN and its partner organisations to implement strategies that will improve the recognition and care of patients with cognitive impairment within all care settings. It will also enhance the messages and lessons learnt from the CALHN ‘Dementia Care in Hospitals Program’ (DCHP), a national pilot program launched in April 2015.