Visible carers improves trust

"Everytime I visit my Grandfather at the nursing home he sits alone in the same chair. He seems sad. If I ask him what he has been doing lately he says “nothing”. It is hard for me to know whether he is telling the truth, or if he has forgotten it. When I leave him he is left in the same chair. I feel sad and frustrated."

A study discussed in the article "Family members are a resource that needs support" talks about how important it is to support and include the family members of people with dementia. A finding is that the family members trust the health personnel who shows care for their loved ones. Especially the health personnel that shows extra care. Maybe they took the time to follow Grandpa on a little walk, or take a cup of coffee with him.

The nice moments disappear

These moments of extra care often disappears today, because they are not shared with the family members unless they are present too. I once talked to a nurse who had followed a 90 year old man out to pick apples from a nearby garden. He had been so happy and enjoyed himself a lot. The nurse left on holiday the same day, and never had the time to share the nice story with the man’s family members.

It is easy to be unhappy if one sees Grandpa alone in the same chair every time one comes to visit. It is easy to lose trust if one never hears about the good moments where extra care is given. The health personnel, and the amazing job they often do, becomes invisible.

A visible care

To make the care more visible will have several benefits: The family members will feel safer and calmer when they know the people they loved have had a good day. The health personnel will have the possibility to show the great job they are doing, and get feedback on this. With improved trust it will also be easier for the family members to become a resource in their loved ones care.

We want to make the care more visible by improving the communication between health personnel and family members. In the long run we believe this will build the trust needed to collaborate about giving the best care possible.