Ken and Lori – Ken was born in Sydney, NS, had an easy going nature, was known for his trademark Cape Breton wit and charisma. He received scholarships that enabled him to get his degree in Architecture in 1974. In 2006, Ken’s passionate 22-year career ended abruptly when he was diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia. He was 57 years old, we had 3 children aged 16, 18 and 20 and our young family was in shock. The increasing emotional and financial stress was making life very difficult. As Ken’s illness caused him to become more isolated from friends and mainstream society, we were unable to find government day programing to accommodate his young age and needs. He spent his days alone pursuing his hobby of photograph. In February 2014, he began to experience delusions, extreme anxiety and was losing his ability to speak coherently. Although Ken had been assessed for placement in January, he was now considered ‘medically unstable’ and I was told that he could not be placed. As my husband’s illness was beyond what I could cope with by myself at home, our family had no other choice but to take Ken to the emergency ward. During the ER process my husband’s anxiety escalated, he was given extremely large and rapidly increased doses of anti-psychotic medication, developed Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) and passed away in hospital 6 days later of cardio pulmonary failure. Once again, our young family was in disbelief and shock.
Issues: Home care services; assessment for placement; change in ER protocol when dealing with dementia patients