"Experience as carers for frail aged mother-in-law"
About: Peel Health Campus / Emergency Department Peel Health Campus Emergency Department Mandurah 6210
Posted by Disappointed Health Volunteer (as ),
My dear mother-in-law who is now in her 80s lives in an aged care facility in Rockingham. On an afternoon recently she fell over and hit her head hard in her nursing home which resulted in a hematoma on the back of her head. The nursing home staff followed the Aged Care Governance Procedures & called an ambulance, which had to take Mum to Peel Hospital as Rockingham was on bypass.
My husband (her son) & I arrived at the ED in Peel about 5:30 pm. I was disappointed at the lack of communication given to us and Mum; I know Mum has advanced Dementia but really this shouldn't matter. The nursing staff were doing hand over, not one of them came and said "hello my name is..." and I'll be caring for Mum from now on, if you need anything please ask. I even pointed this out by introducing myself with "hello my name is..." - I was perhaps being a little 'cheeky' here, but neither one of them reacted to me pointing out "hello my name is..." - this is a vital part of showing a patient/consumer/carer respect and is, in fact, a campaign for more compassionate care from the UK - https://www.hellomynameis.org.uk/.
Communication is just so vital in patient centred care & ensuring that the patient experience is the best that it can be. Kindness can go so much further than what we experienced.
The consultant on duty came and had a chat with us. She said that nursing home shouldn't have sent Mum to the hospital, in a sort of nice way, sort of not nice way. I may not always remember everything that was said to us that night, but I remember feeling that we had wasted the ED staff's time, and we could be better off doing something else rather than being in ED.
Sadly, when you're loved one is ‘sick’ or injures themselves it is not always at the right time in the right place, but health care for SMHS must always be delivered in the right place at the right time. Perhaps this is a learning thing for Peel ED staff in understanding the requirements procedures of nursing staff that work in aged care, and the challenges they face. The nurse to patient ratio is not as many as in hospitals. Perhaps ED staff need to spend some time in a nursing home environment to understand how it is to walk in other shoes! Especially since the patient cohort of the area would be a large part of elderly frail people.