Healthcare should be more than simply managing strictly medical issues. Every sick person, everyone who has an injury or illness, is still a human; and attached to their collection of ailments is a person who’s likely worried, confused, maybe even scared. Being sick, needing a hospital, can be a daunting experience for anyone.
Some patients present with subtle or rare medical issues that will stump and confuse doctors. Many times, the doctor will settle for the easy out, deciding it’s something it isn’t, or that they’re familiar with even if it doesn’t quite match to the patient’s actual condition. An informal carer (a close friend or family member not being paid) can act as a patient advocate, stepping in to help ensure the diagnosis and treatment continue until the correct information has been arrived at.
These informal carers are a vitally needed component of the healthcare system that’s often missing. They can provide a link between the patient hoping for a good outcome, and the medical providers who often consider the patient one more routine matter to deal with. The carers can offer emotional support to patients, helping bolster them against the turmoil of their illness and the seeking of effective treatment. Without carers, medicine is reduced to something wholly clinical, and people are not machines. They need care beyond the clinical.
- 1Informal caregivers are becoming increasingly common as we deal with an aging population and an increase in cancer and conditions.
- 2We need to value the carers in our life. There are over 100 million informal carers providing care across Europe.
- 3Carers often invest their money and time to helping their loved ones and their health and empolyment can suffer.