10 June 2016

Carers are critical for safe and effective practice say NurChatters

A recent #NurChat explored the role of a carer, with particular emphasis on carers of those living with dementia. As one of the toughest life experiences a person can go through, how can the nursing community ensure carers are supported and their roles respected?

It has been proven that recognising personal history, character and individuality of a person with dementia has a positive impact on the progress of the disease, and ideally placed to ensure the integrity is upheld are carers.

As partners in care, open dialogue with carers is critical. A carer should be listened to and their questions answer, they should always be involved and encouraged to seek support when needed. #NurChat participants felt that patient and carer centred care was essential to ensure that the best quality care was received by the patient and that it’s a nurse’s obligation to ensure that the rights of patients are upheld and that the role of a carer valued.

Nurchatters believed that carers should have 24 hour access to wards so they could assist in whichever way they could with their loved one, and carer advocates who want to help carers realise their role and introduce them to the help and support they can receive.

Tommy Whitelaw, @Tommyntour, is opening a key note speech at this year’s RCN Congress in Glasgow and will be asking delegates to make their pledges' reality. Will you make your pledge a reality?

All too often, horror stories of how dementia patients are restrained, ignored or dismissed hit the headlines, however by including carers during critical times, these periods could be deescalated, calmed and handled very differently; retaining dignity, and ultimately maintaining comfort and safety for the patient.

To read the full transcript from Tuesday’s chat click here.

#NurChat returns on Wednesday 22nd June 2016 at 8pm and will discuss some of the key issues arising from RCN Congress