A new client moved to Arthur’s Senior Care from a larger memory care facility in the area – a beautiful place that was advertised as “bright” and “vibrant,” but it did not seem to have the staffing ratio to meet the client’s needs. The client’s son had noticed that in the last three months at that larger facility she had done a lot of sitting and staring out the window, and that she had lost the ability to walk. He was also concerned that she had been prescribed a medication for anxiety that left her cloudy and disoriented. He indicated that one of his top priorities, if at all possible, was to have this anxiety medication discontinued when she moved to Arthur’s. Emily, the live-in supervisor at Arthur’s on Emmert, listened, and assured him that the staff at Arthur’s shared that same goal.On this client’s first day at Arthur’s, Emily worked a double shift and made a point to personally assist this new client through her daily routine and observe her closely. Emily and the other staff on shift did not see any behaviors that seemed to warrant the use of the anxiety medication. It was a medication that is typically used near the end of life, and has strong sedating side effects. It had been started on an “as needed” basis at her previous facility because her staff there thought she had seemed “anxious” during transfers. The staff at Arthur’s did notice the client had some anxiety during transfers, but observed that the cause seemed to stem from pain in her legs. They came to the conclusion that the pain was probably related to stiffness.
First Weekend at Arthur’s Senior Care
The client had moved in on a Friday. On Saturday morning, Arthur’s staff helped her with a shower and the client exclaimed, “that was the best shower experience I’ve had! I know it’s not easy, but you two are so good at what you do!” By Sunday morning the anxiety medication no longer seemed necessary. On Monday, Emily discussed her observations with the client’s doctor who ordered the anxiety medication discontinued. Emily also discussed the pain issue and the doctor concluded she was being treated with the wrong medication and switched to a new pain medication related to her diabetes diagnosis. When Emily relayed this good news to the son, along with the plan to get PT/OT on board to find some non-pharmaceutical approaches to address concerns, he was thrilled.
The client has been at Arthur’s Senior Care for over six weeks now, and Emily reports that she is working with a physical therapist and is able to sit up on her own now at the edge of her bed and her pain management is much improved. She is able to share stories and express her preferences and has become more interactive – even giggly!