By Dominic DeLaquil, PT, CEEAA, Therapy Resource, ID/NV
Steve is a LTC resident at McCall Rehab being treated by Speech Therapy for cognitive/communication deficits. He has a history of alcohol abuse and dementia. With winter in the mountains and COVID restrictions, his behaviors had become a real problem. He was initially refusing to get OOB and staying in a dark room, but as the weather began to turn to spring, he began excessive wandering, wanting to get out of the facility. He was agitated and confused and began urinating in sinks and trash cans.
Using the ACA approach, SLP Cassie Johnson took him outside and listened. He was remarking on all of the things around that building that might need repair or upkeep after the long winter. She asked him what he would do, and one thing led to another, and she got some sandpaper and he started working on refinishing a wooden patio table at the facility. Another resident became interested, and they worked on the table together. They have since formed a friendship and seek each other out. All of Steve’s behaviors have ceased and he is more motivated to improve his abilities and hopes to discharge to an ALF. As an additional benefit, other residents became interested and the furniture sanding became a group activity!
In addition, his SLUMS score in February, when he was depressed and his confusion was worse, was a 13/30. Tested recently, after finding some purpose and satisfaction, his cognition actually shows improvement and he scored a 22/30!