Excellence in Action- Pulling Together and Never Giving Up!

A female long-term care resident was admitted to our Jonesville, LA facility due to a health decline, that left her unable to be at home.  Initially, she was ambulatory throughout the facility and was able to have meaningful conversations with family, peers, and staff. Her sister visited frequently, and they were often found sitting together discussing events, and sharing information about their daily lives.

Over time, the resident began to slowly decline, and she was eventually placed in a “Geri-chair.” Her expressive language also declined, to the point where she hardly spoke at all. She demonstrated signs of depression and presented with behavioral disturbances that impacted her care. Due to these behaviors and her significant decline in function, the resident was placed in a behavioral unit for evaluation. While in the unit, the resident declined further, requiring hospitalization for almost a month. The facility’s Marketing Director visited the hospital frequently to check on her and reported that the resident’s condition was extremely poor. They even began to think that she might not recover from the decline.

Miraculously, the resident had a turn-around at the hospital and was able to return to our facility.  Upon readmission, it was noted that she had experienced a significant decline in functional, cognitive, and expressive communication skills. She was unable to have meaningful conversations and exhibited decreased intelligibility, prosody, and pragmatic skills that prohibited her from expressing her wants and needs. The resident would not talk to staff and had minimal interactions with family and peers. She was able to tolerate a regular wheelchair but had limited Active Range of Motion (AROM) with bilateral upper extremities.

All therapy disciplines sprang into action and evaluated the resident. When Speech Therapy was initiated, our team had a wonderful SLP graduate student, Taylor, who was doing her medical intern rotation. Taylor established a rapport with her, and the bond that was formed proved to be a turning point for the resident. She started having verbal interactions with Taylor and with Margaret, our SLP Supervisor, and soon after, she was communicating with our entire therapy staff and even other residents! The facility staff noticed the difference and commented that the resident had begun to initiate communication exchanges and ask relevant questions. 

Our Occupational and Physical therapy teams worked diligently with the resident, performing activities that required AROM with reaching activities. She started to tolerate standing activities which then led to tolerance for walking. Despite these improvements, the resident was very impulsive and demonstrated unsafe techniques and transfers, requiring the staff to constantly monitor her and cue her with safety instructions.

The resident soon began demonstrating daily progress with all disciplines. Eventually, she started to demonstrate safety-awareness in ambulation techniques and is now independent with ambulation throughout the facility. Unfortunately, at this time, the resident’s sister is not able to visit with her due to social distancing and quarantine imposed as a result of COVID-19, but our staff has made it their mission to ensure that she, as well as all our residents, feel loved and stay connected with the outside world.

The resident now greets staff and has meaningful verbal social interactions with peers.  The team feels great seeing the resident they have grown to know and love emerging!  We are so proud of the efforts that our team has put forth for this “comeback kid”! 

We are “ALL IN,” in Jonesville, LA!