Family input – worth its weight in gold

I have had the pleasure of listening to family members talk about their experiences of having a relative in aged care. It has been inspiring and concerning. Today was the concerning bit.

I listened today to a son talk about visiting his mother and watching a staff member ignore an old lady nearby who was in obvious distress in her fallout chair and calling out for help. He saw the same staff member walk passed twice and not offer help. He became concerned for his own mother. While she can look after her own needs now, what will happen if she becomes more incapacitated and is unable to protect her own interests. He is worried now. And rightly.

It is a small thing seemingly but it shows a lack of compassion and empathy from the staff member. I had watched earlier in the day and saw the same person doing the same thing so I knew he was right in his observation. What concerns me is that apart from the distress caused to the lady in the chair, his trust in the care offered by the facility has now been damaged and he has moved closer to making a complaint. The next time is happens he might not be so patient.

Staff, please be careful of your actions. Visitors note what you do and don’t do. They see your care and lack of it.  You may be busy but not so busy you become an uncaring robot. Always be aware of the feelings of the person you are caring for. How do they feel right now. The noise they are making has a reason. Look beyond the noise and ask yourself how they are feeling and what it means that they are calling out for help.

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