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Posted on Feb 4 2022 by Fiona Bailey

Two members of staff with very different job roles have both talked about how important it is to promote independence among older male patients.

Speaking in one of the latest Service Spotlight videos, Anna Rak, who is a Healthcare Assistant on a ward in Birmingham, said: “We try to promote independence as much as we can. Just because they're [the patients] getting older doesn't mean that they aren't able to do things for themselves anymore.

“So, it's our job to encourage them as much as we can to try and do the basic things such as their laundry, making themselves a drink and do basic chores.”

Matthew Berridge, who is Clinical Nurse Lead in Northampton, added: “A lot of patients, certainly those who have been in care for a long time, have become quite institutionalised and quite used to having their needs met, and they're quite worried about independence.

“A lot of patients really would like to get out of hospital, but when it's coming up to discharge, that can be a challenging time because what they want is on the horizon and they begin to worry whether they will be able to cope. So, as a nurse it’s about building their confidence.

“We work with the patients to understand what their needs would be. So, in the months leading up to discharge, we look at their access to the community, how their activities of daily living are going and we work with the outside agencies.”

But, it is not just the patients’ mental wellbeing that the staff must focus on.

“There's a high percentage of older adults who also have physical health issues too,” Anna said.

“So we have to we have to make sure all the needs are met. We need to monitor their physical health more frequently.”

Matthew added: “We have a lot of obesity and heart disease. So the challenge is treating the physical health as well as they as well as the mental health, but I enjoy that every day is different. I enjoy the wins of getting a patient to walk to the café without the aid of a zimmer or a stick, or I enjoy working with my team members to make patients a day to day lives better.

“We have an excellent team who really want to do their best. We have excellent facilities and we have huge grounds, which enables us to really develop people's skills outside of a ward setting.

“Some of our facilities are fantastic, and as a nurse within St Andrews, I've had an opportunity to work on seven different wards with five different patient groups. So it's a real learning and development opportunity.”

To watch Matthew’s Service Spotlight video, click here.

To watch Anna’s Service Spotlight video, click here.