In this post Anni Townend writes about the power of connecting with people and how that can make an extraordinary difference in their lives.
Like many people I have been watching 24 hours in A and E, and have every time been moved by the quality of care, the kindness of strangers, and the stories of people suddenly thrown together through being human. Last night on Channel Four was no exception. The man who six months lost the love of his life, his wife, and with her all his support. As he lay there in A and E struggling to breathe, feeling a tightness in his chest and quietly weeping, the consultant reached out to him, listened and asked questions and quickly established that this man was lonely, and as the man said himself, lost. What struck me was how the asthma and difficulty breathing had him be taken into A and E where he met this consultant who took the time, and indeed spoke about how elderly patients need more time to talk, to be listened to, to be seen, heard and understood. This consultant absolutely understood that what this man needed was some support within his local community, he made a phone call and within a short while someone from Social Services came to talk with the man, set up a home visit and he is now being connected with other people and enjoying the possibility of a future relationship whilst totally acknowledging the loss of his wife.
A little bit of care and attention can make a huge difference.
By Anni Townend