No matter how independent we like to be, we all occasionally need to receive social services, including medical examinations and treatment.

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Having recently assisted an alert 85-year-old woman who had sustained a hip fracture, I was once again witness to how people don’t practise considerate and patient communication with our precious seniors. Using unfamiliar medical terminology, at a break-neck speed, while flying through procedures and the filling-in of charts, practitioners can leave even the most hearing-adept in a cloud of confusion.

Can you imagine how my friend felt? After a sleepless night in an emergency ward hallway, beneath a crackling loud-speaker, with her hearing-aids removed, she became totally dependent on my understanding of her medical condition. Anxious to go home, she was even more ready to please the doctor, and jump to conclusions that she was going to be discharged. But she didn’t hear or understand half of what was said!

Sad, indeed, because, in fact, the doctors and nurses were great! They just didn’t know how to communicate effectively with my friend. So how could they possibly reassure her, or answer her questions.

Yes, I know they are busy and stressed and over-worked, and, … but, ….

Consider your audience! Show You Care!

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