Improving Lives - Betty's Story

A complex case involving a delicate condition and high anxiety levels was solved through a combination of product knowledge, empathy and communication skills.

‘Betty’* is an 80-year-old with severe Osteoporosis, Arthritis in the left hip and a catheter tube straight into her kidney. Betty struggles daily with great pain and is fearful of movement, resulting in her spending a most of her time bedridden.  Care & Independence were called upon to help assess for a sling for hoist transfers to give Betty a better quality of daily life outside of bed.

Owing to the complexity of the case, the appointment itself lasted 2.5 hours, as opposed to the average of one hour. Working closely with both the carer and District Nurse, Betty’s specific needs were thoroughly investigated by the Care & Independence local Product Specialist, before a suitable sling solution was proposed.  The GLOVE Airflow (GAIR) was the sling deemed most suitable for the circumstances.  A plus for Betty using the GAIR was that her handling could be kept to a minimum – especially if the pain grew too great and she needed respite from movement.  This is because, as an in-chair style, the sling could be left in position for longer than normal time periods without causing temperature discomfort due to its highly breathable fabric properties.  Another benefit is the full body support it provides during hoisting.

Due to Betty’s delicate condition and high anxiety levels concerning being moved, it was imperative to ensure gentle handling and, throughout each stage of the trial fitting, pre-communicate what was happening whilst providing reassurance to put Betty at ease.  Once the sling was fitted, Betty was carefully and successfully lifted.  Given the length of the session, the Product Specialist recognised Betty was becoming tired and so refrained from further handling but a breakthrough had been made.  Everyone involved (including the family) was optimistic that Betty had now been given an improved outcome and that she would no longer be confined to her bed day after day.

Following the assessment, the lead healthcare professional involved had this to say about the assistance provided: “An extremely knowledgeable Product Specialist with excellent communication skills and empathy made this a successful outcome.  The commitment, experience and caring shown is a credit to Care & Independence, and the co-operation to allow for this lengthy appointment is greatly appreciated.  I myself have also learned additional manual handling skills whilst attending this assessment.

*Due to the sensitivities of medical conditions, names have been changed to protect privacy.  Images used are for illustrative purposes only.