Thursday, May 17, 2012

There is great celebration at Betty's house and it is all because of a broken pair of overly worn shoes!  Last week the sole of one of Betty's shoes came loose and became unwearable.  Until you have experienced "change" in the life of someone with Alzheimer's, you can't imagine the unrest it can cause.

Every time we wanted Betty to get ready to go out she would find a reason not to go.  Every time we mentioned heading to a restaurant she would come up "too many trips to the bathroom" or that she didn't feel herself.  At first we really didn't know why this kept happening and had started to suppose that she was feeling uncomfortable out in public.

Then, one day when we arrived, there stood Betty barefoot... obviously searching for something.  When pressed, she wasn't sure what she was looking for, but I could see that it was her shoes.  I led her into the bedroom closet and while mentioning that her favorite shoes had broken I pointed to some other shoes that she has in her closet.  

I went home that night and started searching the internet to replace the broken shoes with, hopefully, the same model.  I did not hold out a lot of hope but a simple search led me to a website with, voila, the exact same shoes.  Ten minutes into it I had purchased two pairs so that this doesn't happen again!

The shoes arrived on Tuesday and you would think I had gotten Betty an expensive pair of earrings or a cruise to the Bahama's!  She was so excited and so thankful that she called twice the next day to thank me again. It is clear now that some things are essential to Betty's comfort, things that would not mean a great deal to most people.

I have learned an important lesson over these shoes.  Betty needs her routine to be unbroken by change in order for her to feel safe and somewhat in control.  Since Betty is not capable of doing these things for herself it is up to Bob and me to try to look ahead and fix things we can control before they become an issue for Betty.  I use fix in a new way.  Fix: make things right, solid and sure. 

I can almost guarantee the shoes will be on Betty's feet today when we pick her up.  I feel certain that it is the best thing I did all week!
Did I say I would guarantee that Betty would have the new shoes on?  LOL!!!  Wake me up... she wears them when she gets dressed in other than her shorts which she wears here when she is just coming here to eat.  Sure enough she had her old pair on.  I was just a bit cocky...LOL!


  1. You did such a good thing, routine is everything!

  2. Oh how true.......Alzheimer patients don't like any type of change. You're such a good daughter in law!!!
    How did we survive without the internet.....I love it!