Dignity in long-term care: An application of Nordenfelt’s work

Jennifer Kane, Kay de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of dignity is recognised as a fundamental right in many countries. It is embedded into law, human rights legislation and is often visible in organisations’ philosophy of care, particularly in aged care. Yet, many authors describe difficulties in defining dignity and how it can be preserved for people living in long- term care. In this article, Nordenfelt’s ‘four notions of dignity’ are considered, drawing on the different perspectives of those who receive, observe or deliver care in the context of the long-term care environment. On examination of the literature we suggest that two of Nordenfelt’s notions, ‘dignity of identity’ and ‘dignity of Menschenwu¨ rde’, are a common thread for residents, family members and staff when conceptualising dignity within long-term care environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-751
Number of pages8
JournalNursing Ethics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2016


  • Aged care
  • human dignity
  • long-term care
  • Nordenfelt
  • nursing homes
  • residential care


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