I have been invited to join a Task & Finish group locally looking at self-care which is a really exiting opportunity. In my reading in preparation for it I have come across the idea of challenging peoples behaviour whilst waiting . . . for an operation/appointment/drug or whatever.
This struck home this morning while I was talking to another patient who has put everything on hold until they have an operation. I recognised my own self a year ago in their attitude. I used to put off addressing issues until the next appointment. Having done the Expert Patient Programme I now see (although don't always do this!) that the waiting period could be filled with specific action plans that for example mean a quicker recovery from surgery or a more useful appointment. 'Waiting' for something that put people in quite a powerless situation and can induce plateau in peoples self-management and improvement.
Supporting patients through the 'waiting' time, and making that period count for something is hard! But important! Getting into the habit of postponing action-planning till the next appointment is dangerous - for most patients with LTC, there will always be a next appointment!