Reciprocity improves care for the elderly

Give and Take
Frail elderly people often receive care without being asked what they want or need. The care significantly improves when caregivers take reciprocity in the relationship into consideration. Even though most care is given with good intentions, recipients of care often don’t see it that way.

Prof. Dr. Vernooij-Dassen from the University Medical Center Saint Radboud: “The sense of dependency and impairment, can greatly decrease your self-image and self esteem. With a decrease in say over your own life, your autonomy, independence and ability to care for yourself are under a lot of pressure. Particularly in a situation where one’s dependency is emphasized, even if that is not done consciously, people tend to give up. Studies show that care is much better accepted and effective, when there is room for reciprocity in the relationship. Frail elderly people don’t want to be only on the receiving end, but they want to give as well.
Source:, April 4, 2011


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