Empathy means a lot to many people, but to everyone, it includes the capacity to never judge another person until you walk a mile in their shoes.
Elizabeth Newman, who is a well known and much respected Editor at McKnight’s, published an amazing piece the other day, which should become standard reading for all healthcare providers, in my opinion.
Part of the human condition is that we tend to pass judgement on other people, based in large measure upon our conceptions, misconceptions and our preconceived notions.
In nursing homes and healthcare facilities, this is often manifested in our assumptions regarding the motivations that drive certain family members to constantly visit their loved ones at the facility and other family members to constantly stay away.
We tend to favor the ones who show up and draw conclusions about the ones who don’t – especially when we know they live nearby..
But not everything is that black and white and in reality, there are many shades of grey that will influence how families interact with one another.
Our role as caregivers is to acknowledge, honor and respect that dynamic and to try wherever and whenever possible, to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Read Elizabeth’s article here