Henry, 72, has recently been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome. As a person who is very used to being independent and taking care of others, the diagnosis has hit Henry particularly hard. He lives with his ex-wife Betty in a one bedroom apartment. Although she is able to help him with many activities of daily living, her own diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis also makes it challenging to provide the level of assistance he requires.
Coach Traci noticed that Henry has a makeshift sleeping arrangement and does not have a bed. “I worked with Henry’s PCP and a hospital-style bed has now been authorized. Shopping and food preparation is a challenge for both Henry and Betty, so I also provided an application for Project Angel Food and Meals on Wheels, and gave him information about Santa Monica Dial-a-Ride, as he was concerned about getting to medical appointments.” During the psycho-social evaluation Traci noted that Henry may be experiencing mild depression. She recommended to Henry that he discuss his situation with a behavioral health specialist, which Henry gladly accepted. An appointment has been set up through his PCPs office. “Henry is being proactive about his situation. He expressed an interest in learning tai chi, both for exercise and social contact. I was able to give him the contact details for Wise & Healthy Aging, which provides exercise programs, including tai chi, on the Westside.”
Traci recently reached back out to see how Henry is doing. He is now receiving Meals on Wheels, and is waiting to hear about his application to Project Angel Food. The hospital bed has been approved by his insurer and he is awaiting delivery. He also gave Traci the following feedback: “The service was great – it really helped. I couldn’t have gotten though without you and the program.”
Partners in Care Foundation uses “patient activation” models of health coaching to provide tailored support dependent on a patient’s knowledge, skills, ability, and willingness to manage his or her own health and care. Some patients are self-starters and all they need is connection to resources, while others need information, motivation and follow-up to close the gap. Here is the ninth of a series of stories about patients who have received health coaching over recent months. All names have been changed to protect patient confidentiality.