Family Encyclopedia >> Health

What is the concept of humanitude?

What is the concept of humanitude?

The concept of humanitude highlights the values ​​of freedom, equality and respect in the care provided to the elderly, especially those with a loss of autonomy, most often residents of specialized establishments. It is a philosophy based on good treatment applied thanks to specific techniques taught to the nursing staff who accompany these seniors. Dignity and taking into account the person in his singularity are the key words of humanity.

Humanitude, another approach to care for seniors

Humanitude is a concept that was developed in the early 1980s by two Canadian physical education and sports teachers, Rosette Marescotti and Yves Gineste, convinced that the elderly, and particularly those who are dependent and live in specialized establishments, must be treated with respect, humanity and empathy, despite their state of health and sometimes the little communication possible with them due to their pathologies.

Humanitude is a concept, which can also be described as philosophy, which aims to rehabilitate the elderly person as a person in their own right, particularly when they have lost part of their autonomy and depends on the help of third parties. This involves taking into account the dignity of seniors and taking charge of their care in a more humane way.

Humanitude encompasses the concept of good treatment, which is increasingly applied in establishments for the elderly, which consists of favoring the well-being of residents by respecting their history and their uniqueness, and supporting them in the best possible way in their care pathway. This philosophy is linked and has the effect of leading professionals who support seniors to reflect and improve their practices.

By practicing humanness, caregivers strive to enhance the expression of the elderly, to meet their needs and requirements, to respect their rights and their choices. In turn, humanity also improves the quality of life of loved ones and the families of seniors taken care of in this way.

How does humanity translate concretely?

Humanitude has now become a method of care for the elderly in particular, and in particular those who suffer from mental illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease for example, taught and practiced in many nursing homes in France, Belgium, in Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, but also in Japan.

Humanitude is reflected in nearly 150 techniques in which carers are trained within a network of approved training centers (the Gineste-Marescotti® Institutes), and which teach them, in addition to knowing how to care for and support seniors in loss of autonomy while respecting their dignity and their personality, how to manage sometimes difficult situations with these elderly people.

The concept of humanitude is based on the ability of humans to interact with each other regardless of their state or status. Links that are based on four main pillars:the gaze (the ability to exchange with tenderness through the gaze), speech (means of communication necessary even if the elderly person is no longer able to express themselves), touch (vital all the more if the senior can no longer speak) and verticality (not letting elderly people become bedridden, the characteristic of humans being to live upright).

The services specializing in the care of dependent elderly people note that by applying the concept of humanitude real progress, such as for example the very significant reduction in behavioral problems (- 80%) in their patients, consumption 7 times less medication such as neuroleptics, a reduction in their hospitalizations, and a marked improvement in their well-being.

But this philosophy based on good treatment also has positive effects on the caregivers themselves, who suffer less from professional burnout and who regain the motivation to practice their profession.

According to the website, the teams of 800 health and medico-social establishments and home services have received training on the concept of humanitude in France. This philosophy has now become the first label of well-treatment, the "Label Humanitude". It currently concerns 28 establishments, and a hundred are in the process of being certified. This label "guarantees the quality of care through the 5 principles of Humanitude:zero force care, no abandonment of care, respect for intimacy and singularity, live and die upright (no people bedridden), opening of the structure to the outside (families, volunteers, outings, events), place of life – place of desires (personalized support projects) “, as indicated by the site