Vera is 78 with vascular dementia and moved into a care home having lived in the same house for 20 years. She found it difficult to adjust and often tried to leave the home, became very agitated and asked for her husband (who had died some years before). Staff found out as much as possible about her early life and her work as a GP, where she had shared a practice with her husband, which they ran from their own home. The Activity Coordinator noticed that Vera would often go into the office used by the home manager and staff for meetings, records etc and sit down or pick up a paper from the desk.
The staff set aside a chair and table in the office where Vera could sit and whoever was in the office would bring some papers over and ask Vera to check them and provide her advice. The community nurse who visited the home provided some 'medical' equipment in a box and would spend a few minutes asking Vera for advice about how to treat a particular ailment. When Vera asked about her husband she was told that he was out doing home visits and this seemed to satisfy her. Using photographs of Vera's old consulting room her family and staff collected items for her room that would remind her of her days as a GP. These changes in her environment and routine reduced her agitation, she stopped trying to leave the home and seemed much happier.