Ms. Tanaka is a perfect example of the American dream, having immigrated from Japan in hopes of pursuing a career in the fashion industry. Life in the United States was in her words, “fulfilling.” After graduating from a professional school for designs, she began her career being hired by a big fashion house. Her career flourished over the years, allowing her to travel all over the world, work for multiple fashion houses, and became a college professor. While she greatly enjoyed her work, eventually she settled down and retired, though it did not stop her from living life to the fullest. She continued spending time reading books, going to museums, and walking to the market place to see the new fashion trends.
It was on one of her trips to the market that Ms. Tanaka became seriously light-headed, and began feeling overly tired. She used her rollator chair to sit down and catch her breath when a shopkeeper who knew her well hurried over to see if she was feeling okay. When it became apparent she was not feeling well, the shopkeeper called EMS to assist her. Ms.Tanaka was admitted to Mount Sinai West on March 2nd, 2020 for lightheadedness. Medical staff interviewed Ms.Tanaka about her medical history, which included a history of hypothyroidism, and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After carefully narrowing down why Ms. Tanaka was feeling out of breath, she had mentioned that she was not compliant taking medicine for her Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Following several days without taking her prescribed medication, she was feeling out of breath and losing her cognition.
Medical staff began the process of readministering her back on her medication as well as beginning the physical reconditioning process to assist her in remembering her medications moving forward. After a few days with noticeable improvements, the medical staff at Mount Sinai West recommended she participate in a skilled nursing program to continue receiving medical oversight and reconditioning. Living in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, she was familiar with the Riverside Rehabilitation Center, and visited friends that were residents of the community. Having seen the skilled Riverside team, and the wonderful community, Ms. Tanaka had an easy decision to be admitted to Riverside on March 6th, 2020.
Ms. Tanaka was greeted quickly by Riverside’s skilled team, who warmly welcomed her to their community. The physical and occupational therapy teams completed an intake evaluation once she had settled in to create a custom plan to suit her needs and goals. The medical staff also consulted with her doctors at Mount Sinai to better understand her ongoing treatment plan. Ms. Tanaka was determined to better herself and stick to the plan, stating, “I do not plan on making the same mistake twice.” As the week continued, she noticed her memory was improving, as well as seeing a noticeable improvement in cognitive and speech therapy. By her second week with the Riverside, she increased her ambulation from 15 feet to 75 feet with minimal assistance.
During her journey, Ms. Tanaka expressed concern over her current situation and the prognosis it would have for her moving forward. The Riverside team took matters into their own hands, and connected her with the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy team, as well as the psychiatry department, to address her concerns, and help settle her nerves. She found that as time passed, her mental well being was increasing just as her physical well being was improving.
By her fourth week at The Riverside, Ms. Tanaka was able to walk with no assistance needed and was confident in her ability to continue with better self-care practices. While being discharged, Ms. Tanaka laughed about her newfound hobby in sewing and patterning, chuckling at the idea she had promised herself she wouldn’t knit in her retirement. The Riverside team saw fit to gift Ms. Tanaka her sewing supplies as she left the community so she could continue her work.
Ms. Tanaka put it best herself, “The future does not end with retirement, it just starts a new design.” The Riverside team wishes Ms. Tanaka all the best in her new design, and hopes she will thrive in her retirement!