Making two beds does not sound like a big deal. In the world of dementia anything can set off confusion and start the downfall into the “Dementia Daze Zone”. Even making two beds can turn into a confusion battle zone.
It was a beautiful Spring day – just right for washing the blankets and sheets and drying them on the line. As I carried them in the house, the aroma of Spring filled the bedrooms. Taking in the crispness, I smiled and sang along with my music as I made up the King size bed with the fresh sheets, blankets and pillow cases. Everything plumped and beautiful I moved on to the queen size bed.
As I placed the fitted sheet on the bed, it wouldn’t fit? So I turned it. Still didn’t fit. And again, and again. I’ve made this bed hundreds of times. Finally, I managed to get the bottom sheet on and started with the top sheet – same thing. I could not grasp how to make that bed! Now, having worked on one bed for over an hour, my anxiety level was high, I was feeling dejected, befuddled and VERY frightened. I remember thinking – “Why can’t I figure this out? Is this one more challenge we will have to deal with? Am I now going to need help making a bed? Yet another task to throw on Roy!”
As usual, Roy stepped in and helped me finish the task. The remainder of the day is a fog to me. As I ventured into the Dementia Daze Zone I couldn’t process how to cook, my speech became impaired, I had trouble with my balance and everything just seemed mixed-up.
When this happened for the second time, Roy and I knew we had to figure out how to adjust to this new challenge. What was the obstacle that allowed my head to function to make one bed with no problem, but caused confusion when making the other bed? As we worked together trying to determine if it was the room, the foot board or . . . no – it’s the sheets! The King size sheets have stripes; the queen size sheets are solid. Sure enough, I struggled every time I tried to use solid sheets!
We managed to overcome this obstacle by putting tags on the bottom of our sheets. It has worked fantastic! I know many people without dementia who want to do this as well. You can see the details in the video below.
In many cases, there is something that triggers a dementia reaction. It would be so easy to give up and say “I can’t do that anymore.” But I don’t want to live my life giving up. Roy and I work hard together trying to identify the obstacles that cause our challenges and then figure out what adjustments get us around that barrier. Sometimes, it’s as simple as stripes on sheets.
Love & Laughter,