With dementia, functioning on habit can reduce some of the “Think Work” that is normally considered routine activities. Recently, my schedule was changed and I now know – Mix-up the Routine = Mix-up Me!
For about a year, my sister, Becky called every morning at 7:00 and we talked during her ten-minute drive to work. After her call, I feed & walked the dogs, took my pills, organized dinner, played with the dogs, checked my email and skimmed FB until Stephen called.
Between 8:15 – 8:45 every morning my brother Stephen called and we talked during his ten-minute drive to work. After hanging up, I took my shower, scrubbed my teeth, got dressed, took care of all FB messages, posts, etc. and started checking off the tasks I had recorded in my IPad.
Although I did not intentionally program this as my routine, it became my habit – my time guideline. My day revolved around their morning phone calls.
One-week Becky’s work schedule was changed and Stephen was unable to call me for three days. This insignificant little change threw me into four days of “Dementia Daze” (some call it a fog). Suddenly the “routine tasks” that I performed ever day were a challenge. I couldn’t remember what I had done and still needed to do. Since I couldn’t accomplish the “routine” tasks the other tasks on my list seemed extremely overwhelming. Unable to process how to rearrange my day, I walked around in circles, pacing the room, trying to think it all through. The feeling of being lost triggered more confusion and frustration. By the time poor Roy got home at 4:15, I was not in a good place.
The fourth day I realized why I was out of sorts and began to make lists to help me get into a new routine and have become adjusted. For those of you who are caregivers, take this to heart. Little changes in the morning can make a big difference in the outcome of our day.
With Love & Laughs,
Written By Laurie Scherrer
© Copyright February 2015 Laurie Scherrer