Making an Impact Series February 2019
In the Making an Impact series, clients and services are featured to expand awareness of the wide array of help available at JFS and to ensure donors understand the lives they touch and the difference they make throughout the community. Client names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.
Robert has always been a very pleasant man who was minimal in terms of case management contact. He never initiated any contact with his current or previous case managers, and he never presented any problems when his case manager reached out to him. He continued with the same services year to year.
Recently, Robert’s daughter, Joann, had reached out to the case manager, worried about Robert’s declining cognition. The case manager met with Robert and Joann a week later in Robert’s home. It became clear that Robert didn’t like having difficult conversations or discussing his problems, and that he had been concealing a variety of difficulties by telling everyone “Everything is fine. I am doing well.”
Joann was worried that Robert lived alone in an apartment building and didn’t leave often or have visitors outside of family. Robert revealed during a meeting with Joann and the case manager that he did not socialize with anyone in his building because of difficulties with them in the past. After this discussion, it was revealed that Robert believed one neighbor in particular would come into his apartment when he was not home and violate his privacy. This issue had been ongoing for many years with contacts to building management and the police, but had not been shared with any of his case managers. Robert had not seen this neighbor in many years and didn’t know if he even resided in the building any longer, but that didn’t stop him from worrying. Robert indicated that he would lay in bed sleepless every night waiting for an intruder. Whether or not these threats were genuine didn’t matter. They were real to Robert.
Robert’s family was lost and confused as to where to go next. Joann’s original plan was to have Robert move in with her and her family, but since her husband had his own health concerns that required a great deal of care, that was no longer an option. The family and case manager discussed many options, including moving Robert to an assisted living facility. Robert was responsive to this idea and the case manager began the process of moving him. He toured several facilities and found one that was a good fit. Many calls and lots of paperwork later, he moved in.
When the case manager last checked in with Robert and Joann, both reported that things were going very well for Robert. He now participates in classes and community field trips, much to his daughter’s surprise.
The case manager reported that it was refreshing to hear that the same Robert who, a few months ago, told her that he goes “days without seeing people and he prefers it that way,” is now choosing socialization activities and finds joy in them.
Of course, moving to an assisted living facility has not solved all of Robert’s or his family’s concerns regarding his cognition and memory, but his daughter reported that the family has found immense relief knowing that staff is nearby and on call to help Robert with medication management, immersion into the community, and mental health services.