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Helen: Living Her Best Life

When We Started

Helen, an 89-year old living alone after the loss of her husband, suffered from a series of mini-strokes which resulted in a hospital visit. This event alerted her family to the fact that Helen now needed more care than they alone could provide. Helen’s family wanted to make sure that she had the best care while also ensuring her comfort; she wanted to recover in her home rather than being transferred to a care facility. In order to make their plan a reality, Helen’s family contacted ASI.

Later that year, Helen had surgery to place a pacemaker and experienced a decline as she struggled to recover. Helen was now suffering from falls, cognitive fluctuations, and delirium from lack of oxygen. We were there to help her family manage the situation and ultimately resolved many of these problems.

Here are some of the medical issues that Helen was experiencing at the time:

  •  Trouble sleeping
  • Weakness, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue
  • Delirium and hallucinations
  • TIAs (transient ischemic attacks or “mini-strokes”)
  • Foggy memory
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Swelling in lower legs and ankles
  • Decline in walking ability and coordination

Interventions We Performed

  • Implemented a regular home visit schedule with one of our care specialists. 
  • Set up a team of 24-hour non-medical caregivers 
  • Accompanied Helen to medical appointments 
  • Helen wasn’t getting the oxygen she needed at night, causing memory problems, fatigue and delirium, so we worked with her cardiologist to provide oxygen equipment and a specialized bed.
  • Created a personalized care plan which included a memory support system for the caregivers to follow, and a medication management plan in coordination with physicians and the pharmacy
  • A chiropractor, acupuncturist and in-home therapist were added to Helen’s care team to help with her mobility and overall health

Outcome for Helen

  • Greatly improved sleep schedule with enough oxygen at night, improving symptoms of fatigue and delirium, and significantly reducing TIAs
  • More than 3 years since experiencing any delirium-induced hallucinations. 
  • Improved appetite and healthy weight gain
  • Helen can now use a walker and participates in regular workout sessions
  • Much improved mental clarity means Helen can continue to enjoy her hobbies and art classes 
  • Helen’s family can still take care of and spend quality time with her while having time for their own lives