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Digging deep
  1. Jill M Huded1,2,
  2. Todd I Smith1,2
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jill M Huded, Department of Medicine, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA; jill.huded{at}va.gov

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Ten minutes past the end of my shift in the ED, Kristina approaches my desk asking if I can meet a family. Kristina is a former military medic now working as an Intermediate Care Technician (ICT) in our ED at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ohio, USA. I look up to see tears welling in her eyes. She tells me that a veteran in room 6 with early-onset dementia is here for weight loss. The real reason for presentation is sensed by the despair in his wife’s voice. She is the caregiver for her husband, a reverend who led parishioners in Ohio for 35 years. A man tasked with the invocation when Barack Obama visited the Memorial Civic Center in 2008. A community leader who several years later began depending on notes when preaching became disoriented when driving and finally stepped down from his role as a pastor because of dementia. Mr. C’s wife was not sure where to turn, reaching the point of physical and mental exhaustion. She was assisting with his self-care needs, ensuring he did not accidentally fall down the stairs in their home, fitting …

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