Jack was an 83-year-old, recently widowed male living in his large, isolated home with 12-hour caregiver services when LCI first began working with him in the winter of 2006. Jack’s wife, also a client of LCI before her death, asked us to promise that we would continue to care for her husband after her death, having herself noticed his increasing cognitive deficits. Jack’s Health Care Power of Attorney and LCI agreed and obliged. LCI observed increasing safety issues in Jack’s multi-level home and advocated for him to move into an assisted living apartment. Jack was successfully placed in a nearby facility where he could meet new friends and enjoy a more active, social environment. Using our Surround Care™ model, which features a variety of services designed to offer customized care for the specific needs of each client, LCI then assisted with the management of his home. Our property services team, Lifecare Home Solutions, coordinated with an estate sale vendor to liquidate personal property. We worked closely with a local realtor to prepare the home for sale, arranged for lawn services, and oversaw the safe storage of Jack’s art collection which was to go to his goddaughters upon his death.
Through this transitional time Jack made statements of feeling lost and not knowing how to go on without his deceased wife for support. LCI managed to engage him, creating a comfortable and social environment for him in his new living setting. Despite his recent loss, Jack’s quality of life and social engagement began to increase with support from LCI.
In addition to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, Jack contended with a prominent gait disturbance, left sided posturing, behavioral outbursts and frequent falls. LCI arranged for Jack to be evaluated by a neurologist and appropriately diagnosed and medicated for Parkinson’s disease. Jack’s symptoms improved significantly with the proper diagnosis and care. He was able to appreciate an enhanced quality of life with LCI’s support, engaging music, BINGO, indoor golf and painting activities at his facility. LCI also brought Jack business magazines, which he had previously enjoyed reading, having been a tenacious and successful businessman throughout his life. LCI staff would read and discuss the articles with him as an age appropriate and individually centered cognitive activity.
Over time, Jack’s declining physical status made it difficult to transport him; however, it was important and apparent to LCI staff that Jack was feeling restless and trapped in his facility. LCI persisted and was able to implement safe outings for Jack, including visits to the local Arboretum, theater events and external social engagements. Jack continuously stated his joy and pleasure to LCI for their visits to him and, despite his declining memory, began to recognize LCI staff faces due to our continuous care and attention to him.
In time, Jack began to decline cognitively and physically and it was arranged for him to have 12-hour caregiver services in his independent living apartment in order to continue his care in the least restrictive environment. Jack was not accepting or pleased initially with his arrangements and showed his extreme frustration to LCI.
As Jack’s cognitive and physical status began to decline, LCI continued to closely monitor treatments and medications. LCI was able to provide Surround Care™ services for Jack, along with services for his wife, for over six years before his death. Jack had never been a very extroverted person, however with the assistance of LCI and LHS caregivers, Jack’s last years were enhanced as he excelled in socialization with conversation, singing holiday carols and enjoying outings. Despite Jack’s progressive decline, it is important to note that Jack remained medically stable throughout LCI’s six years with him. In this time, despite advancing dementia, behaviors and Parkinson’s symptoms, Jack was never hospitalized, a testament to our diligent and effective Surround Care™ approach.