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Promoting self care and independence

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Self-care refers to performing the activities of daily living that help maintain and enhance health; this can include activities like eating, getting dressed, bathing, and toileting. Self-care is important for maintaining physical, emotional, and psychological health and to help prevent existing conditions from getting worse.

A client's ability to practice self-care can be impaired by an illness or age-related changes that affect mobility, endurance, mental state, or senses like loss of vision. This can create a sense of powerlessness and hopelessness. Your clients will feel more independent when they are able to perform self-care activities and this will build their self-esteem and maintain their personal dignity.

As a nursing assistant, you will care for many clients who will need your assistance with self-care. First, check the client's plan of care. It will include interventions aimed at promoting self-care.

For example, during bathing, some interventions that you could perform include providing partial assistance during bathing, washing and drying hard-to-reach areas, and observing for signs of activity intolerance. You should check with the nurse to find out which activities you can do in order to best assist the client.