This eccentric 94-year-old resident of the downtown Potiker senior housing complex was referred to Thriving Downtown while recovering from a hip fracture at a skilled nursing facility. She needed assistance ensuring her rent was paid and she was worried about her cat’s welfare. We went to her apartment and learned that a staff member at Potiker was caring for the cat, but we also found a significant hoarding situation. Since Betty was identified as a very high fall risk, her physician at the nursing facility recommended she remain there permanently. However, since Betty continues to be rather sharp cognitively, they certainly wouldn’t be able to keep her there against her will.

High risk of falling, but “sharp” cognitively.

We helped her transition back home and have been following her for the the past six months. We transport her to her primary care doctor once a month and visit her on a weekly basis assisting with a wide variety of errands. Her doctor has been following her for several years and Betty heeds her orders (for the most part).

Potiker is a supportive housing setting, so she has access to regular, nutritious meals. She receives ongoing care through In Home Support Services (IHSS) paid for through the County, which has been excellent. Unfortunately, her Medi-Cal lapsed a few weeks ago which jeopardized her situation because it caused her to lose her medication coverage and halted her IHSS. We collaborated with a social worker at Serving Seniors to obtain proper documentation from her bank and social security office and ensured that her Medi-Cal was reinstated so that she could resume pharmacy and caregiver benefits. Additionally, she is now connected to C.R.E.S.T. (Cognitive Rehabilitation and Exposure/ Sorting Treatment), a program through UCSD Health to address her hoarding behaviors.

While Betty would be safer living in a nursing home, she would be miserable. With Thriving Downtown’s assistance over the past six months, she has remained in her home with her cat and continues to appreciate maintaining a level of independence.