How Many Older Adults Are In a Situation Similar to Mary Lou's?
Mary Lou is an 89-year-old widow living by herself in St. Louis for the last 20 years. Her only relative was a granddaughter who lived in Florida.
Mary Lou had gotten into a serious car accident 2 years ago and as a result, she never drove again. She depended on neighbors and church friends to help her with grocery shopping and any other transportation needs. Every time her granddaughter called, Mary Lou would say, “The neighbors just stopped by and brought me groceries and some homemade goodies. The church service was wonderful today.”
What her granddaughter didn’t realize was Mary Lou had been visited by the police and a social worker numerous times trying to help with her “wandering” and “hoarding” issues. Unfortunately, last month was their last visit and when they arrived, there was an awful stench coming from her house. Imagine their surprise when inside they found Mary Lou all alone, hadn’t eaten in days, was very dehydrated, confused, and had been unable to make it to the bathroom in days.
Since the police were unable to locate any family members at the time, they were forced to have the state remove her and place her in a locked unit within a nursing home.
At last, the granddaughter was able to be notified. She had no idea her grandmother had dementia; she thought it was only a little bit of forgetfulness. Once she was made aware of the severity, she came to St. Louis to visit her grandmother only to be greeted by an unfriendly and nearly hostile staff. The granddaughter called VOYCE to help mediate a smooth visit and to be sure Mary Lou was receiving proper care.
One month later, we are happy to report Mary Lou has been discharged into her granddaughter’s care. She is now safely living in Florida with her granddaughter while they find a nearby community which can take proper care of her.
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