Carers' advice: Dealing with professionals

From the April/May 2018 issue of Dementia together magazine, carers advise how to get the best results when dealing with health and social care professionals.

A person affected by dementia talking with a healthcare professional

Careroncoffee says,

‘Use a diary to log everything. Get full name and work pattern. Find out whether the professional is moving post in the near future, if they are then ask for someone else.’ 

‘Chase, chase and chase again. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself,' says Beate.

Beate says,

‘Chase, chase and chase again. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. The squeaky door gets oiled first. If you don't stay on the ball, there is a high chance it will be dropped and things delayed. Write down when you spoke to someone so you don't forget outstanding matters. 

‘Whenever you speak to someone, be firm but polite. Don't swear, shout or be otherwise rude, even if you are angry about delays. Professionals are people too and will not bust a gut to help you if you don't stay civilised. Crying on the phone is acceptable though!’ 

nae sporran says,

‘I just find the obvious approach of asking loads of questions and writing things down helps. Of course, a sense of humour and the ability to accept teasing helps cover any embarrassment my other half has at me taking over doctor's appointments. 

‘Learning when to shut up and trust her to answer for herself is a work in progress as her dementia progresses. With social care professionals especially, care agencies sending emails always helps to create a paper trail, otherwise their internal communication lines can be a little lax sometimes.’ 

'Take a notebook and pen with you so that you can note what is said,' says karaokePete.

karaokePete says,

‘Make notes of ALL symptoms and concerns that you may have before any appointment, and take your notes with you to help ensure that nothing is missed.

‘Take a notebook and pen with you so that you can note what is said. This is very important if bad news is a possibility, as once such news is given nothing more that is said may sink in and be remembered.’ 

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Next steps

  • Do you have any advice about making a home dementia friendly? Email us your advice by 7 May 2018 to share.
  • Join our online community, Talking Point.
  • Read the next article from this issue of the magazine.
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