Phil and Lois Gardner


Caregiver Phil Gardner is a retired 74-year-old firefighter who has been married to Lois for 25 years. Phil has 2 adult children from a previous marriage. Lois had an MI over 20 years ago, has been diagnosed with COPD and CHF, and has shown some signs of memory loss over the past year. Phil has been managing her medical care and increasingly taking over many household duties.
Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3

Simulation Scenario 1 takes place in acute care setting where Lois was hospitalized for pneumonia. In preparation for discharge, learners will need to perform a Katz Index of Independence in ADL assessment (or other appropriate tool) and assess Lois’s cognitive status. Lois is going home on her previous medications along with antibiotics. She also needs a walker, at least temporarily. Phil is concerned about the challenges they are facing.

Simulation Scenario 2 takes place in the Gardner’s home about 6 months later. Lois was seen by a neurologist and diagnosed with dementia. One week ago, Phil brought her to the Emergency Department with chest pain. Her ECG was normal, and Lois was discharged with a diagnosis of angina. Phil expressed concern about being able to manage household duties as well as supervision and care of Lois, who is more confused and unable to manage any aspects of her meds. A referral was made for monthly home visits for assessment of COPD/CHF and medication management. This is the first home visit.

Phil and Lois moved to a retirement community six months ago. Lois passed away one month ago from an acute MI, while Phil was out visiting with friends and a home health aide was caring for Lois. This scenario takes place at a blood pressure screening clinic in the community’s meeting room. Phil has borderline hypertension and has been attending the clinic every month. During this screening, he reveals that he is having difficulty coping with the loss of Lois and wondering whether he should have done something differently.

Finish the Story Assignment

Learners have now seen Phil at three snapshots in time. What do they think his life will be like three months from now?

Author Information

Mary L. Cato, EdD, RN


ACE.C Funding

ACE.C resources were made possible with generous funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation and the AARP Foundation.