Case Study: ‘Miraculous’ turnaround in wellbeing sees resident heading for home

An extremely challenging resident who was admitted to Cornerstone South Africa Lodge in March 2020 has gone through an astonishing recovery and has been given the green light to move to a standard residential home and, after a period of rehabilitation, she will be able to return home.

Read AB’s story

AB was admitted to Primrose Lodge at South Africa Lodge in March 2020. She’d been living alone and managing her underlying health conditions. However, these were deteriorating, she was becoming confused and it was felt that it was not safe for her to return home.

She was also COVID positive and needed to be barrier nursed. She was extremely agitated and frustrated and this exacerbated her behaviour and she became extremely difficult to manage. She would walk through the home not wearing the appropriate PPE, going into residents’ rooms and coughing on them.

She asked repeatedly to go home. She was verbally aggressive, very rude to staff and tried to get out numerous times. She would not engage with the multi-disciplinary team, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) team or the Older Persons mental health (OPMH) consultant who said hers was one of the worst cases of frustration and agitation she had seen.

She refused to use her walking frame and as a result, fell and broke her hip.

During her stay at South Africa Lodge, AB was COVID positive for six months. This was a source of anger for AB as she couldn’t understand why she was still positive after so many months and even doctors were at a loss as to how it was possible.

She was eventually diagnosed with dementia due to COVID by the OPMH consultant.

Staff established a management programme to ensure AB’s wellbeing and that of the other residents. They applied for DOLS as it was deemed at that point that she lacked the capacity to decide where to live and would have been very vulnerable had she been allowed back home. She could not assess any risks to herself or others. She was placed on 15-minute observations due to her attempts to leave.

They alleviated her feelings of isolation by separating the lounge on Primrose so she could come out of her room but not be a risk to other residents. The space was deep cleaned afterwards.

The team worked hard to establish trust with AB which took a great deal of time and patience. They set her small, manageable goals which gave her a focus and a sense of achievement, as well as the ability to look forward to when she was COVID negative. Throughout this period, staff kept in constant contact with the OPMH team regarding her medication, drug trials and titration of antipsychotic medication until a point where AB was settled, safe and her behaviours were manageable.

After seven months AB was declared COVID-free and that, together with the medication prescribed for her, saw a complete turnaround in her health and behaviour.

She is now compliant with care and medication. She is desperate to move into care closer to her hometown and appears to have capacity.

The care provided at South Africa Lodge has transformed AB’s life. She will be able to move once a suitable residential place becomes available and after a period of rehabilitation, she will be able to return home.

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