Reflecting on Patient Wellbeing and the Impact on Families

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    Jo Owens

    It feels like we have lost the art of empathy, compassion and understanding. I say this in light of recent experiences with my mum who has had two episodes in hospital. She has dementia and the community team were working extremely well with her and we saw a significant shift in her mood and a more positive outlook. However, since the stay in hospital she has reversed considerably, it is such a shame, staffing levels mean that clinical staff appear to have very little time to spend with patients with additional needs. All she needed was someone to sit with her, understand how she was feeling and occupy her with an activity to take her mind away from inner thoughts. I understand the impact of Covid on everyone, all i want is a little compassion and understanding.

    Communicating with my mum as a human being is key and this was done, however, the expectation that my mum would indeed recall these conversations and relay them with any amount of accuracy shows a lack of understanding of the awful condition that is dementia. To understand what was happening all communication had to be undertaken by the family with the hospital.

    Staff are significantly stretched at the current time and were beforehand, but really have we lost the ability to show kindness and understanding to the patients and their family as the impact is great and causing additional stress to an already worried family.

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