A new guide to social care has emphasised the importance of dignity and respect towards older people receiving health and social care.
The report from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) supports the Department of Health's campaign to ensure that such dignity is upheld within the services.
Practice Guide 9: Dignity in Care gives practical guidance as well as a range of resources to service providers and practitioners to improve and develop this area.
"Dignity is not always easy to define, but what is clear is that people know when they have not been treated with appropriate dignity and respect," said the chief executive of SCIE, Bill Kilgallon.
"The message from research is clear – dignity in care obviously has meaning for older people," he added.
"Recognising and respecting what it means to them – in terms of autonomy, privacy, respect, identity and sense of self worth – and designing practice to support it, contributes to older people's wellbeing and, ultimately, to what makes their lives worth living.
"Dignity is never simple, but always important," added Mr Kilgallon.
The government's white paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say is undergoing continuous revision in light of ongoing national consultation and the Dignity in Care campaign.