Focus Topics

topic 4 | Activity 6: Amy is admitted to an aged care facility

Six years ago Amy was diagnosed with early onset probable Alzheimer’s disease. At the time of diagnosis, Amy, Mei and Erik met with Amy’s GP who explained the likely progression of the disease and informed them that Amy’s life expectancy was up to 10 years.

Amy was able to continue working for another year after her diagnosis, went part-time for six months and then retired early when she was no longer able to keep up with work demands.

Over the past 12 months Amy’s memory and ability to perform familiar tasks independently have declined more quickly. She is often anxious or argumentative, can no longer wash or dress herself, wakes up at night and wanders about, and has recently developed urinary incontinence. Mei and Erik have been caring for Amy at home.

Despite assistance with Amy’s care by home care services twice a week, Mei and Erik are finding that Amy has become more difficult to care for. The changes have been distressing for Amy and also for both Mei and Erik.  Erik is struggling to keep up at work and care for both his grandmother, now almost 90, and his mother.  He has been sleeping poorly, complaining of headaches and becomes tearful easily.

Mei and Erik are now unable to cope with Amy at home any longer. Amy has been reassessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team and it has been determined that Amy is eligible for high-level care. After much consideration, Mei and Erik have made the difficult decision to admit Amy to an aged care facility. Mei finds this particularly distressing as she believes it is her role to care for Amy at home.

  1. What are some of the fears and concerns that Erik and Mei might be facing as carers, while caring for Amy at home?
  2. What information would you provide the medical interpreter with, prior to her first meeting with Amy, Erik and Mei at the Aged Care facility?