Good News Story: Recognising the needs of individual residents

In this Good News Story, Gem Brown, one of our remarkable ACFI Specialists, shares the story of how she noticed a change in one resident’s behaviour, mood and energy levels, and took action to realise what was wrong and how she could help.

Watch the video or read the transcript below.

Have your own good news story? Share it in the comments below or send this to a friend.

Gem: I had a resident who came in, she was a new admission, so there wasn’t a lot of history on the resident. It was very scant, the information I had. So I had to rely on my own clinical skills to determine what her needs were, and I assessed the resident and saw that she was quite unwell with lots of need and she was breathless and tired and sleepy.

Initially her daughter had told me the reason for that was that they had travelled, so they had come up from another state to Queensland. And that’s fair enough. I’m tired after travelling. So I let her settle in for a couple of days.

But each time I went back to see how she was going, to see how she was settling, to check out what her needs were, I continued to see this tiredness and fatigue and shortness of breath. She used to sleep through her breakfast, through till mid-morning, sometimes later and just make it down to lunch. So I spoke to the care staff, and they said, “Well, that’s just her everyday pattern.”

The day they called me, after her shower, I went up to assess how she was going, and I found a very short of breath, exhausted, agitated lady who had great difficulty showering herself and managing her care. Looking back at her diagnoses, I understood that there was diagnoses that had connected to respiratory disease and pointed that out to the staff and suggested a trial where we checked her clinical observations prior to exercise, just to determine her endurance and exercise tolerance, and to check it again after she had completed her activities and to compare the difference.

I asked them to trial that for me for three days in a row to get a snapshot. It clearly become obvious, very shortly after that, that she had a lack of oxygen. So she was given oxygen prior to and after her ADLs, after her activities of her daily living, and she wasn’t as exhausted or nauseated or agitated or shaky, and was able to go down and enjoy lunch and a meal and communicate in the dining room with other people. So it was good a outcome for the resident.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts below