Tru here. Written on my cell phone before 6am: There is no need for worry when we have a storm. We are very well-prepared. Living in the mile-wide stretch of coastline between ocean and Redwood Forest, we are also well-prepared for the attendant electrical outages. But it does not happen often enough for the procedures to become habit for me. That is a problem when there is inability to think things thru. Habit and schedule are my primary individual guidance at this stage of dementia.
This storm began Friday and we lost power Friday night. No big deal because we are well-prepared … and because husband did not work Saturday morning. Electricity came back on shortly after dawn allowed crews to check the lines and probably pull whatever trees off the wires. That was Saturday morning.
Now it is Monday morning. We lost power again shortly before bed time last night. No big deal. Problem is husband left for work this morning.
My big dog needed to go potty. She can no longer see well and is uncertain of her footing. I did not think of putting on a coat, or putting on the rain shoes which were waiting on the porch.
So I help her down the ramp in the dark. Then she stops at gate, so I go back out and show her gate is already open. … Then climb my wet, pajama-clad body back into bed to get warm. Finally remember she is still outside. She laid down (beside open gate). I run out into the rain, guide her thru gate and up ramp. Thought things thru enough to find large towel. Dried her (but forgot about my self). Brought her back into house and offered her a drink.
Now I have stopped shivering but realize mattress and sheets are wet because I was cold so I climbed back into bed — without thinking about changing from my wet clothes and drying me.
Really, I think I did pretty good with my limited thinking resources in the situation. It is just that I do not have habit and schedule to guide me when there is sudden change like power outage. Hopefully the rest of my morning will go more smoothly and I will succeed a little better on thinking things thru.
UPDATE: I had forgotten daughter moved in a few months ago, and she was upstairs getting ready for work (yes; like many other places of business in our town, her employer uses a generator). Hot coffee was on the gas stove, and everything was set for me by the time it was light. Now generator is on so I have computer access for a few hours. All is well. This is just a lesson in WHY people say “be careful” and “be safe” when unusual circumstances occur. It is not that our family was not well-prepared for storm and loss of electrical power; it is simply that habit and schedule are important safety elements in dementia patient’s ability to complete activities of daily living. In unusual circumstances habit and schedule are interrupted. Food for thought in a true natural disaster, especially when combined with our emergency services’ complete lack of understanding for most types of dementia, let alone special circumstances like hallucinations from Lewy Body Dementia & its’ penchant for disastrous reactions to medicinal sensitivities! If someone would like to suggest helpful application for professionals and loved ones, in order to minimize problems when habit and schedule are interrupted, you are welcome to leave those suggestions in comment section below. Again, always nice to “Share”!
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