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Hilda: Former World Traveler

When We Started

Hilda was 79 years old with a long career as an au pair and a love of traveling and nature. She was divorced and had not been in touch with her own children for many years. Her long-time friends were her only support, and she was declining. When we met Hilda, she was living alone with the help of part-time caregivers.

She needed to sell her home due to financial limitations and move to an assisted living community, but was unlikely to be accepted based on the following:

  • Negative behaviors such as yelling, aggression and agitation displayed towards neighbors and friends
  • Exit-seeking behaviors resulting in her wandering
  • Not eating regularly, with little attention paid to nutrition
  • Napping for long periods of time in the middle of the day, with unknown nighttime sleep routine

Interventions We Performed

  • Expanded the caregiving team to include nighttime supervision
  • Established a daily routine to include regular exercise, walks outdoors and improved nutrition
  • Implemented medication changes and monitored behaviors
  • Provided regular coaching to Hilda’s friends and caregivers in ways to interact and redirect undesirable behaviors
  • Implemented reminders and toileting routine to reduce incidents of incontinence

Outcome for Hilda

  • Renewed interest in mealtimes and nutrition
  • Engaged in new routine, decreased exit-seeking
  • Pleasant and charming with improved behaviors
  • Decreased interest in napping during the day and improved sleep at night
  • Successful move where Hilda quickly became a much-loved and active community member