When he was a teenager, Joseph suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of an automobile accident. Later diagnosed with schizophrenia, he lived with his parents in their home, a recluse who was afraid of contact with the outside world.
One day several older members of Ken’s church asked him to intervene with one of their friends living in the community who they believed was suffering from dementia, not leaving her apartment, and quickly becoming unable to care for herself. They gave him a key to her apartment, which they had in order to bring her groceries and check in on her. Ken initially had not planned to use it.
Ken was asked by friends of Martha, an elder living in the community, to intervene and protect her from scammers and others who were bleeding her dry. Martha lived in her own house. She was an affable woman in her 70’s, a former accountant who “presented well” when talking with others. It only took a ten-minute conversation, though, to begin to see Martha’s cognitive deficits.