Case study: Bill is an 87 year old ex-engineer who was diagnosed with vascular dementia six years ago. When his wife passed away five years ago it became clear to his two daughters that Bill could not care for himself at home. He agreed to move into long-term care within an easy distance from one of his daughters. Both daughters were keen to be involved in Bill’s care and care decisions were readily agreed. Both daughters when informed about a Family Involvement in Care (FIC) intervention running at the RACF saw this opportunity to continue to be involved in Bill’s daily care.
It was arranged through the FIC intervention that one daughter would visit three times a day during lunch meals so she could help Bill to eat as he had recently lost his appetite and had been losing weight. The second daughter also agreed to visit three times a week to read to Bill as his failing eyesight had reduced his opportunity to enjoy this previously enjoyed pastime. The daughters asked for Bill to be taken to a small lounge each afternoon where he could enjoy a view of the garden, an activity he had enjoyed in his later life. This also gave him an opportunity to meet with other residents.
After one month the staff met with Bill and his daughters to discuss how things were progressing. Bill expressed that he was delighted to see his daughters and he looked forward to his visit to the quiet lounge in the afternoons. The daughters communicated that they felt valued by the staff for the positive contribution they made to Bill’s life on their visits. The staff commented that they had opportunities to learn about Bill’s social biography and past life as they assisted him to the lounge each afternoon. Bill’s mood had improved and he was also gaining weight.
Read the case and reflect on the following questions:
1. What are the key factors that led to the success of family and staff engagement in Bill’s care?
2. How can staff and family work together in partnership to ensure mutual benefit for everyone? ( staff, family Bill)
3. Examine potential barriers to collaborative care involving family and staff in RACFs?
4. How these barriers be positively managed?