Whilst I was at my mother’s hospital bedside a few weeks ago, being given rather more detail than I wanted about the operation to fit her new hip, I was given a wonderful demonstration of why our latest product can play such a valuable role, and not just to help with dementia sufferers either.
My Mum is a feisty lady and sharp as a pin, but she was tired and woozy and for the first few hours it was a struggle for her even to string a sentence together. Because of possible complications she was kept in intensive care for a couple of days and the staff were wonderful, friendly and extremely attentive. But other than a list of medical needs there was nothing for them to refer to about those other issues that might help them interact with their patient and understand her needs.
Her name for starters. Officially Elizabeth but she’s always hated that so has been called Liz for well over 70 years, yet there was nowhere to make that clear. I could sense her exasperation when, in quick succession, she was called Elizabeth, Lizzie and Jean (no idea where that came from). When I was there I could correct them, but if she’d had a Pocket Chart stood up on her bedside table it would have been there for all to see. They’d also have known that she was anxious to get her teeth back in place, they could have provided her with her preferred hot drink and my contact details would have been available, all without them having to ask.
Just one more thing. I had a chat with one of the intensive care nurses about what sort of information they might like to see. I assumed they wouldn’t want to be bothered with details like past pets and favourite hobbies. On the contrary. They want to know about the person they are looking after, in exactly the same manner as carers do. It helps them to remember the people they are caring for are human beings with needs and preferences like the rest of us, not just a list of symptoms.