THE CAREGIVER'S MANUAL

( By Sangeeta S. Bhagwat )

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m-Being Honest With Your Patient

Often, doctors and staff choose to inform the caregiver of the present status and proposed measures, instead of the patient. You may be required to convey this information to your patient. In such situations, sometimes the caregiver is tempted to withhold disturbing information. Instead, they try and cover up, saying all is well. However, I would suggest that the patient is always as well informed as possible.

You can be gentle and supportive. But withholding the truth has little benefit. Keep in mind, that even sedated or unconscious patients have been known to absorb conversation around them. The chances of the patient hearing part or mistaken information, from one of the many people surrounding him, are quite high.

Besides, you would be depriving the patient of preparing himself mentally, as also of informed decision making. He will be the one bearing all the consequences. Would it not be more fair to ensure that you, the caregiver, maintain an honest and trusted role in his life?

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