Mr. J loves his wife Mrs. J but he was having difficulty dealing with the symptoms of her dementia. He reached out for help and Senior Persons Living Connected Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network team was there for him and his wife.
Mrs. J needed to see a Geriatrician and her husband needed support to help with his wife’s ever-increasing needs.
The GAIN Clinic team provides comprehensive care for patients and plays a vital role in the lives of many of our community members. “We initially saw the patient last year for concerns regarding cognitive decline, increased risk of falls, agitation, and wandering or BPSD – Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia,” explained the BSO RPN.
The term “dementia” doesn’t actually refer to one, specific disease. Rather, it’s an overall term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain.
It can often take time before a patient can see a Geriatrician and it has been even harder during the pandemic. Virtual appointments may be too overwhelming for some people and simply inaccessible for others.
The patient was referred to a Geriatrician in March 2021. A virtual appointment was booked and the BSO RPN was able to help both Mrs. J and Mr. J by going in to the home and setting up the necessary
equipment, walking them through the process, and helping with follow-up.
About 70% of the time a healthcare team member is needed to go in to the home and set-up everything for the virtual appointment. Approximately two to three patients per month have been able to access Virtual appointments with a Geriatrician during the pandemic.
The patient’s family was so excited that this could happen and they were surprised too by the amount of time Dr. V spent with Mrs. J. During the ninety-minute Virtual appointment, Mr. and Mrs. J and their family were able to talk about the ever-changing challenges brought on by dementia as well as the care and education available to meet those challenges.
Dr. V was able to hear their concerns, review and change the patient’s medications, and discuss the goals of care. The doctor also took time to speak with Mr. J about the inevitable aspects of his wife’s dementia and to also assure him that she can still live a full and dignified life.