Extendicare Kirkland Lake resident moves back home a new man, thanks to hard work and help from interdisciplinary team


A 59-year-old man with complex-care issues was able to return home after an interdisciplinary team of Extendicare Kirkland Lake staff members spent 18 months helping him lose more than 200 pounds. The team also healed several of his pressure ulcers and helped him regain his mobility.

When Mr. M moved into Extendicare Kirkland Lake he had decreased mobility with extensive chronic wounds to his legs and feet related to being morbidly obese and having Type 2 diabetes. When he moved into the home he weighed 550 pounds and had diabetic stage 3 and 4 pressure ulcers on his feet, legs and thighs. He had these wounds for two years before moving into the home.

His diagnoses also included peripheral vascular disease, osteoarthritis, chronic pain and hypertension.

Mr. M’s health issues were negatively impacting his quality of life. He required a wheelchair for mobility and could not sleep in a bed due to shortness of breath when lying down. He could not perform activities of daily living. 

The interdisciplinary team worked diligently to help Mr. M with his goal of losing weight and becoming mobile again. He had a daily caloric intake of 2,100 calories and started on an antidepressant with a side effect of appetite suppression.  

The interdisciplinary team spent a great deal of time caring for Mr. M, says Extendicare Kirkland Lake administrator Jennifer Kasner. The team’s hard work and Mr. M’s determination began to pay off.

“By mid-year, Mr. M lost a total of 158.4 pounds, and all but one wound to his legs and feet healed completely,” Kasner says. “Remaining was a very small open area to his foot. This allowed physiotherapy to start a walking program and upper and lower range-of-motion (exercises).”

After several months of hard work, Mr. M was able to walk 50 feet with the use of two canes and climb a few stairs. His ability to perform his activities of daily living also increased.

Mr. M was eventually transferred to a rehabilitation unit at the local hospital for a month to continue working at regaining his strength and ability to care for himself.

“He left Extendicare Kirkland Lake approximately a year and a half after admission, losing a total of 231 pounds,” Kasner says. “All of his pressure ulcers, except a small, superficial wound, were healed and he could walk independently with a cane. He could also perform all of his activities of daily living independently.”