These are the two most common words that I find associated with older people admitted to acute hospital care when they are delirious.
70, 80, 90-year-old, man or woman, it doesn’t really matter.
If you don’t agree, or accept what we are going to do with you, you are aggressive.
I probably read the word ‘aggressive’ at least once a week in patients’ notes.
Aggressive and violent – words that in reality only apply to drunk young to middle-aged men out and about on Saturday nights; them and the dope-fiends who are still trying to find a way out of the 1950’s.
Let’s think of some new, perhaps more appropriate, compassionate, terminology; let’s replace aggressive and violent with anxious and afraid. Let’s try and get inside the world of those older people who are in pain, who can’t see or hear properly, who are unwell, drugged-up and moved-around like cartons of wheat from ‘care’ repository to bed number one or two or three.
Let us lift our love-ones out of the morass of 21st Century care.
Let us listen.
Let us feel.