Unit 1 – Communication in Health and Social Care Organisations
The relevant theory of communications consists of sixteen theories relating to the various ways people communicate. Of these sixteen there are five that apply to Mary Slater and her situation. The first theory is known as constructivism. The following quote best describes this theory,” constructivism is a cognitive theory of human communication that describes how human perception influences the skillful production and interpretation of a variety of social influence messages” (Delia, O'Keefe, & O'Keefe, 1982). As Mary’s dementia worsens she may find it harder to differentiate between things and will struggle to concentrate and understand things making it harder for her to communicate with those around her. Another theory for Mary is the Cognitive Behavioural theory which believes that the way certain situations or events are interpreted by people plays a major part in their actions and the way they feel. Mary’s health is slowly deteriorating causing her to forget important things and major event which could cause her to feel frustrated and useless. These feelings will subsequently affect Mary’s behaviour and communication with others which could cause her to become agitated and stressed. The Social Judgement theory focuses on the idea that depending on how important an issue or subject is to a person affects the way they respond and communicate. Mary is suffering with a degenerative disease which will mean she will feel distant from her family and friends and may feel that she is no longer a part of society. She may withdraw and feel that things don’t matter to her meaning communication could be difficult. The Spiral of Silence theory is very important in Mary’s situation. It is a theory that indicates that when people have a fear of being isolated it can cause them to be silent in their opinions and feelings. As Mary slowly becomes worse with her illness she may be confused and feel isolated and this may prevent her from communicating any fears or problems she may be experiencing. She may find it hard to talk to people who are caring for her or to her husband.
Although Mary has been discharged from the hospital and is able to return home, she still requires a lot of care due to her illness. When a person with dementia finds that their mental abilities are declining, they're likely to feel anxious, stressed and scared. They may be aware of their increasing clumsiness and inability to remember things, and this can be very frustrating and upsetting for them. (www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect) It is important that those caring for her are sensitive to her condition and communicate in the right way so that Mary is able to understand. As a care manager in Mary’s case after she had returned home I would visit her to construct a care assessment. This would involve me recognising her needs and the type of service that is required and also assessing what types of services and care would be relevant to Mary and also to her husband as he too will require support. As Mary’s husband does not speak very good English and cannot read very well it puts a barrier up in terms of communicating with him about what Mary needs. I would communicate via imagery and show him the ways in which he can care for his wife and attend to her needs. There are ways to simplify instructions so that he can understand and avoid any confusion. Also I would speak slowly and understand that at times the language barrier could be just as stressful for him as for me.
With regards to Mary, caring for someone whose communication skills are deteriorating is very difficult so it is important to take careful steps. Using physical contact can be a way to make someone feel more comfortable. Holding their hand whilst talking to them and having a relaxed body language will make them feel at ease. When talking to Mary about aspects of her care I would ensure I spoke softly, clearly and used short...
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