He was calling-out; eight in the morning. Raining.
Boab, I’ll call him that. Was in bed. Shouting.
I want to speak to my wife.
‘It’s only eight Boab, maybe you can ring later.’
‘We can’t get you out of bed, Boab.’
‘The phone won’t reach.’
I want to speak with my wife.
I am going to shout until I can speak to her.
Other patients restless.
‘You’ll just have to wait.’
‘There is only me on, and…’
This is something I have seen before – described in disaster avoided 1 and 2.
It relates not so much to the technique for interacting with those who have dementia or delirium, but more, the person-centred approach to communication, to empathising, thinking beyond the immediate, the obvious.
‘Here Boab, what’s your number?’
Boab chatters with his wife for fifteen minutes. I listen to the conversation.
He ends, tearfully.
Boab hands me my phone and is longer shouting, he is calm the rest of the day and the next.
Where do we draw the line in terms of human rights?
Visiting times? Access to food, shelter, water? Comfort? Dignity, Respect?
Just because I am old, I am still a person, my wrinkles do not diminish who I am.
Just because I am young doesn’t mean my opinion is less valuable.
Just because the hierarchy says so, does not mean my contribution is not valid.