Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Case Study #7

Here is the scenario.

Your clients consist of the Mona, who is 75 years old, and her husband, Michael, who is 80 and suffering from diabetes.

You have been doing some light house cleaning, and preparing a meal for them.  When you arrive at the small bungalow today, Michael enters the room as you are giving some help to Mona. He demonstrates some signs of confusion. He doesn't really know what time it is, and has asked when Mona is making him dinner. He looks gaunt, and seems to be losing weight in the time you have been seeing this family. 

Usually he is neat and tidy, but today he smells of urine, and he is unsteady on his feet. He begins complaining that Mona has left him alone for hours. Mona interrupts explaining that she has no time to do normal errands and Michael needs constant attention. She feels that he is a terrible burden. She cannot keep track of his insulin doses, and complains that he cannot remember anything these days.

Mona has raised five boys, and now needs help with her husband's care. She tells you she has asked the doctor for medication to make Michael sleep at night. She feels she has to restrain him, so that he is safe in his chair or his bed. This is how she explains the bruising on his hands. Mona cannot get him in and out of bed easily, she tells you, and she needs assistance with transferring.

What do you do? Unlike child abuse, there is no Ontario Law regarding elder abuse.

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