A Silver Sherpa Case Study

Background

Bill, a client of Silver Sherpa, experienced a medical emergency on a Friday in July 2015. Previously diagnosed with progressive aphasia, Bill now showed signs of significant physical and mental decline, including increasingly confused behavior. Bill lived alone, and a Personal Support Worker (PSW) visited him 2 hours per day for personal care, medication management, and meal preparations. When Silver Sherpa arrived for a visit, Bill was in major distress.

Situation

The Silver Sherpa Client Director accompanied Bill to Emergency after calling ahead to inquire about the best time to bring in a complicated case. The Client Director gave Bill’s medical history to the ER staff so that diagnosis and treatment could be facilitated quickly. The Client Director educated and calmed the distressed family.

Bill had a tendency to wander so the ER staff suggested he be restrained either physically or chemically. The family was very upset. After discussion with the family, the Client Director persuaded them to hire a PSW for 24/7 care. The family agreed, and once Silver Sherpa contacted one of their Professional Network members, within 2 hours, the PSW had arrived and was trained. Silver Sherpa negotiated a preferred rate with the home care company, and the paperwork was delayed until the next day.

Due to Bill’s rapid deterioration, he required Assisted Living accommodation. Silver Sherpa negotiated with a local facility for a quick move-in at a preferred rate. Bill was transferred to a local Assisted Living community within 10 days. Silver Sherpa contributed to the care plan and ensured a smooth transition into the facility.

Outcome

From the stressful emergency admission and throughout the hospital stay, Silver Sherpa was able to advocate for Bill and his family, and help them understand the various health care options put forward by medical staff. Since Silver Sherpa was already a trusted advisor to the family, they were able to actively work with the hospital discharge planners to determine pragmatic and costed living options that the family might consider. Silver Sherpa was able to accelerate and facilitate these decisions with the family and hospital staff.

With Silver Sherpa’s expertise and guidance, Bill was discharged within 10 days to an appropriate Assisted Living facility. Bill did not take up an Alternate Level of Care (ALC) bed in an acute hospital for months, nor was he restrained on a daily basis, or referred to Long Term Care. Bill is settling in well in his new environment. He allows the caregivers to bathe him, and he has gained weight. He has had no further medical issues. He has allowed himself to be showered, and is starting to communicate again. He is participating in activities and speech therapy has been ordered.

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