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Carer and family support

Don't be afraid to ask questions

It's not about asking what 'normal' is. The word normal is different for everybody and so we want to ask, "Is this unusual?" If the behaviour you see from your relative or friend is unusual, then please let us know, a delirium may have developed and if the staff are alerted early they can get a medical review.


Tips for relatives and friends

  • Bring items in that will be familiar to the patient such as a photo, pillow or favourite blanket
  • Do not argue or raise your voice
  • Speak slowly and clearly, identify yourself by name
  • Gently remind them where they are and what day it is. Open the curtains during the day if they are shut
  • Be there for meals. Encourage the patient to eat and drink
  • Bring glasses and hearing aids in if the patient usually wears them. If the patient cannot see or hear properly this can create more confusion
  • If the patient is able to get out of bed and move around safely, then help them to do this
  • A carer or relative is encouraged to stay. NSLHD supports carers at the bedside and carer support is available.


The PDF icon Communication and Care Cues form can be completed by a relative or carer of a patient that may be having difficulty communicating. It should be used whenever there is a possibility a patient cannot give information about themselves. Please speak with nursing staff if this is something that you think may help with your relative.