Sometimes my Momma gets up during the middle of the night and wanders around in her room – typical “sundowning” activity. From my comfy bed, I can keep an eye on her via camera on the monitor I keep on the nightstand. I’ll sleepily watch as she opens and closes drawers, switches the contents of one drawer to another, fiddles with knobs, looks through books and photo albums, and arranges and rearranges things in her purse. Once she is satisfied all is right in her world, she’ll generally go back to bed on her own and I can go back to sleep knowing she is safe. That having been said, if I see her walker on the left side instead of the right side of her bed, I’ll sneak down after she has drifted off to sleep and quietly switch it (and her shoes) over to the opposite side of the bed.
The familiar idiom, “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” usually refers to someone having a bad day right from the start. In Momma’s world of Alzheimer’s, it is entirely possible to very literally “wake up on the wrong side of the bed.” It’s interesting how a seemingly teeny difference of throwing her legs over the opposite side of the bed when she awakens will cause her day to begin awry.
Waking up on the wrong side of the bed means she sees a different view and doesn’t know where she is at all, and will often cry out, “Where on EARTH am I?”
Waking up on the wrong side of the bed means she won’t know where her shoes are. She’ll fuss and fret and say repeatedly, “Where are my shoes? Who took my shoes?”
Waking up on the wrong side of the bed means she will have great difficulty finding her way to the bathroom situated just a few steps away from her bed. Instead of being down the little hallway right in front of her, she’ll have to walk those extra steps around the end of her bed, causing her extra discomfort and pain in her already painful feet and knees, which definitely increases her risk of falling.
Moving her walker to the ‘right side’ of the bed is a very small kindness I can do to make her daily journey with Alzheimer’s a little more familiar, navigable, and comforting.
What small acts of kindness make your loved one’s world a little easier? Please do share in the comments section.