Tru here. I think people rarely consider the added time and energy consumption from our dementia symptoms. All the little things really add up to high cost in time and energy.
My toothbrush is in the smaller cup on countertop, but if another toothbrush gets tucked into the same cup … then I cannot remember which is mine. Or have been known to forget the step of picking up toothbrush and just put whatever is in my hand under water to prepare for toothpaste. Have used other things for toothpaste.
Shampoo is a problem. This morning made five trips. Got upstairs and started water into tub when realized … forgot to go potty. Got back upstairs, turned on water again and realized forgot towel. Forgot undies. Forgot phone for if I need help … I have a list but keep forgetting to check it. Am now trying to establish habit of switching bottles from one side of tub to the other when I use them, but if I forget: My hair is wet but did I shampoo, did I put on conditioner/detangler? — so I do it all again. This happens very frequently.
Unless I can see the options for dressing, I seldom remember that I own other clothes. Sometimes I will look in closet and sometimes drawers, but it usually takes a while to remember that I have whichever other option that I did not go to first, when looking for what clothes to wear for the day. May remember I have a certain piece of clothing but cannot remember where to find it. If not in closet or drawers, then maybe I wore it already and is it in laundry … or dryer? Maybe I forgot and it is in the box for things that need mending? Decisions take much longer. Another problem is dressing for one set of expectations then told that is not what is going on today so get stuck trying to find clothing applicable for the new activities, but again so difficult making those choices.
I’ve been wearing my hair in the same style most every day, but some days it just doesn’t “click” and I am stuck looking at mirror with comb in hand. I know that I want it to look “normal”; like it does every day. But cannot remember how to get it that way. Some days I can even get stuck looking for my brush. I know that it belongs somewhere in this vanity, but cannot remember which drawer … so need to look thru every drawer to find it. The same is true for every tool that is not in sight.
Next comes getting coffee. I now have a motel-sized coffee pot and motel pre-measured packets of coffee grounds, but sometimes I forget to put in either the water or the coffee packet. Only once have I dumped water all over from not noticing that there was already water in the canister. (( Well … only once that I remember LOL ))
… And the problems with faucet handle and the kitchen sink (( see “distorted-decision-making-in-kitchen” ))
We won’t even discuss breakfast.
When dealing with dementia symptoms, getting ready for the day can consume much more time and energy than we or our loved ones are prepared for. It can also cause tremendous inner turmoil of emotions, and trying to deal with our emotions in a healthy way consumes EXTRA energy. So please allow plenty of time for the “normal” problems of getting ready for the day, when dealing with dementia symptoms. That alone can lower our frustration levels. Thank you.
PS: This is also something most people do not think of when it comes to the issue of person working at a job, while dealing with dementia symptoms at the same time. Since almost EVERY activity for life consumes so much more time and energy, if trying to hold down a job at the same time … how much time and energy is left for family and loved ones … or dementia peer interaction, in order to stay emotionally healthy while dealing with those extra problems of life?
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