Windsor author Jennifer George is shown on July 26, 2019, with her book, Communication is Care, which focuses on changing the conversation on health care.
Nick Brancaccio / Windsor Star
Windsor physiotherapist Jennifer George turned more than a decade of experience with her ailing father and the health system into a book about the power of words.Encouraging words. Really listening to words.“I’m hoping to change the conversation of health care to focusing on our words having impact just as much as clinical skills do,” George said Friday.Communication is Care: 9 Empowering Strategies to Guide Patient Healing is her first book and she’ll be signing copies in the Indigo (Chapters) bookstore at Devonshire Mall on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.She wrote it after her dad Jimmy George died last year at age 83. George said she wondered why more communication between doctors and nurses with patients and caregivers couldn’t have been more positive, even if the health prognosis was negative.Just as the Windsor woman was starting her career as a physiotherapist, she became a caregiver for her dad, with her mom, and saw both sides of health care and a communication gap. At times, she said it felt like her family was perceived as barriers or burdens and they wanted to be more involved in his care plan. She’s hoping her book will encourage medical professionals to listen more and empower their patients to be their own advocates.“Whether it was a positive or negative interaction, it had a direct effect on his demeanour and his recovery, and it also had a direct effect on us as caregivers in terms of our coping and outlook.”
Author Jennifer George’s new book, Communication is Care — 9 Empowerment Strategies to Guide Patient Healing.
Nick Brancaccio /
Her dad had liver cancer and with his family’s help pushed for a liver transplant even though it came with risks, she said. In 2007, he underwent two transplants within a week since the first transplanted liver failed, she said.After the second transplant, the family was encouraged to remove him from life support because he had no neurological activity, she said. With the support of the transplant surgeon, that decision was put off for a weekend.It was rewarding because we had 11 extra years with my dad that we never thought was possibleHer father started to show signs of recovery the next day, and although the progress was slow — the transplants had resulted in a seizure disorder and brain injury — he was able to get back to his Leamington home after about a year in the hospital, she said. The family was told he wouldn’t walk, talk or eat on his own but was able to do all those things in time, she said.“Although it was hard — it was very hard at times — it was rewarding because we had 11 extra years with my dad that we never thought was possible.”She also noticed the impact of positive interactions. She remembers a kind nurse practitioner who took the time to go over the plan for her father’s care once he got out of the hospital even though he was ill and ended up dying later that day.“We understand the news isn’t always good, but we just want health care providers who can empathize and be compassionate and empower patients and families to advocate for great care,” she said.Related
The paperback sells for $14.99 and is available through Indigo, Amazon and ebook firstname.lastname@example.org/winstarhill
Author Jennifer George is shown Friday with her book, Communication is Care, which offers empowerment strategies to help guide patient healing.
Nick Brancaccio /