spruce

pathways to modern aging

Toni Sanchez, a Care Coordinator, has an elderly patient who suffers from dementia.

The patient’s daughter has power of attorney for her and answers Toni’s monthly check-in calls. Over the course of her treatment, the patient began to show signs of behavioral issues. During the week of a monthly check-in, she began arguing with family members, accusing them of stealing from her and lying to her. The patient also began to behave aggressively, occassionaly grabbing her daughter by the wrists. This behavior escalated, causing the daughter to report to Toni that she was afraid of the patient.

Toni and the patient’s daughter discussed possible sources of the behavior. Due to her husband currently residing in an assisted living facility, the patient had been spending extended periods alone in her home, growing depressed. This, in addition to a few additional triggers, seemed to be causing the patient to act out.
The patient’s family were unsure what to do. In search of a solution, Toni contacted the Spruce afterhours team and received a call from the on-call physician. The physician recommended that, due to the aggressive behavior, the family take the patient to a psychiatric facility for an evaluation or waiting until Monday for an appointment with the MD.

Toni researched psychiatric facilities close to the family and was able to provide the daughter with two locations in their area. After a week of uncertainty, the daughter was relieved and thankful for the help.
The next week, the daughter informed Toni that the family had not yet brought the patient to a psychiatric facility despite the patient’s behavior remaining the same. Scared that the patient would resist going to a facility, the family made an appointment with the patient’s doctor for evaluation.

Within the week, the patient was seen and evaluated. The family can now begin to work together to decide what will be best for the patient in regards to ensuring she recieves more intensive care.