Prevention Strategies in Post-TBI Depression in Older Adults: A Case Study
The purpose of this study was to describe a theoretically focused intervention aimed toward chronic stress and depressive symptom management that is coordinated by a case manager and delivered within a home environment by the caregiver.Primary Practice Setting:
Home care, community setting.Methods:
A case study of an older adult with traumatic brain injury (TBI) secondary to a fall who had significant allostatic load at the time of his injury. “Allostatic load” is a theoretical construct that suggests the brain is experiencing chronic strain on its systems that flexibly respond to stressors. Sustained allostatic load can contribute to chronic conditions and poor outcomes.Findings:
Through actions with the family as caregivers, the case manager was able to coordinate a structured home setting and gradual resumption of social activities for this older adult. Focus was on establishing structure, meaningful social interactions, and positive home experiences that maximized the older adult's interests and capacity and mitigated chronic stress. Gradually, the older adult returned to his preinjury capacity and lives independently within the family home.Implications for Case Management Practice:
The case management process has the potential to mitigate stressors and improve depression management through family-focused care. Although there is limited guidance on prevention of depression, this approach resulted in attainment of safe home care, no hospital readmissions, and return to previous lifestyle for the older adult. This could be useful in the prevention of post-TBI depression.