Getting to know the whole person, not just the patient and the illness, is the driving motivation behind a new, nationally developed resource to improve the experiences of vulnerable adults and their carers in acute hospital settings.
The ‘Getting to Know Me’ document developed by Alzheimer Scotland and The Scottish Government records personal information about the patient’s likes and dislikes, names of family and friends, and what may be worrying them while they are in hospital.
The information, which will be kept at the bedside during a hospital stay or when attending outpatient services, helps staff to build positive relationships with patients and their carers by allowing them to get a fuller understanding of their life story, preferred routines and specific pieces of information such as what helps them to rest or relax.
Con Gillespie, Lead Nurse, Emergency Care and Medical Services, said “We are confident that this will enhance care and if used properly will facilitate better care for an individual’s needs and reduce the risks of not addressing what they require.”
“It will be helpful if carers ask staff for a copy to complete when their loved one is admitted to a hospital ward, as staff will be able to supply these once wards are stocked with copies.”
Dementia Carer Voices Project Officer Tommy Whitelaw has been invited to participate in the rolling out of this programme across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Tommy will be sharing his experience of caring for his late Mother Joan with Lead Nurses and staff, to highlight the importance of ‘remembering the person’ and looking beyond an individual’s diagnosis.
Tommy said “Many people simply saw my Mum as a wee woman with dementia and used that as their starting point, failing to recognise the life she had led and could have continued to lead for as long as possible.”
“‘Getting to Know Me’ is all about recognising each individual’s unique life story, abilities, likes and dislikes, so I am privileged to take part in its promotion in any way I can.”
To view the document, click here . This can be printed off and photocopied.