Julie was living at home alone and had begun experiencing challenges associated with dementia including verbal agitation and isolation. Her daughter, Sally, was concerned, especially about her driving. Sally removed Julie’s car from the premises. Shortly after that, Julie began suffering delusions and was admitted to the hospital where they discovered she also had other physical issues.
Toward the end of Julie’s brief hospital stay, her family was told she wouldn’t be safe at home alone any more. Immediately, Sally hired a caregiver from a local agency to stay with her mom during the day; but on her second day, the caregiver phoned to quit because Julie’s behavior was too aggressive. Sally called the agency but was told there was nothing they could do.
Sally’s next call was to Silverado At Home. She asked about hiring a caregiver and agreed to a Comprehensive Assessment by a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM). The GCM came to the home and met with Julie and Sally. The resulting assessment showed that Julie had significant cognitive decline masked by functional verbal skills. She was unable to manage her medications. To complicate matters, she was overmedicating her allergies with over-the-counter drugs that, when combined with other medications on an empty stomach, were causing frequent nausea. Julie showed symptoms of agitated depression. While she could still cook a meal, she was not consistently eating so she had lost weight.
The GCM removed overthe- counter medications from Julie’s home and implemented a medication-monitoring program. She referred Julie for a medical evaluation for depression. Subsequent treatment resulted in decreased verbal agitation. With support from her GCM, Julie came to accept her new care companion who walked with her daily, took her to parks, restaurants and shopping. Julie and her care companion cooked together and soon Julie had gained seven pounds.
Thanks to the behavior strategies developed by her Silverado Geriatric Care Manager to assist the care companion in redirecting behaviors and decreasing the frequency of outbursts, Julie was able to stay in her home for two years. More importantly, Sally and other family members became more engaged with Julie because of their improved understanding of her dementia and the decrease in her agitation.