So I got a text one day from my mom at about 7:15 am, “are you up? Is Craig there?”

Immediately I knew something was wrong… My stomach fell and I called her immediately – “yes and yes. What’s happening?”

“Well I woke up and your dad was asleep, sitting in the floor, leaning against his bed. No idea what happened, but I can’t get him up.”

“So he’s not hurt? Did you hear him fall?”

Dad sitting by his bed and he can't get up - PivotToHappyExactly what happened is a mystery… my dad has a twin bed that is at the base of my mom’s bed. He sleeps through the night but she wants him close so she can hear if he stirs – she heard nothing.

We recently got the bed rail “just in case” – it’s expandable and he apparently figured out how to push the button and move it during the night. Our best guess (because no one will ever really know what happened) is that he was on his side and leaning on the rail and when it moved, he slid off the bed onto the floor.

When my mom awoke, she looked and saw him sitting straight up, sound asleep.

She put the walker in front of him – that helps when he’s in a chair and doesn’t want to get up, but getting him motivated to get off the floor proved futile. Thankfully we live close and her house isn’t far out of the way on my husband’s route to work. This is where he was, just chilling on the floor looking very content, when we got there.

With one of us on either side, we scooped him up and got him to his feet with little effort. It was simply impossible for my mom to do alone.

These are the unforeseen challenges of having your loved one with Alzheimer’s at home. You need to have a support team, formal or informal that you can call, and when in doubt about safety or injury, call 9-1-1.

You need a support team to call because sometimes you just have to say, “he’s sitting and he can’t get up!” (I don’t think there is a necklace, a button or service for that!) When my mom brought my dad home from the Memory Care home, she let the neighbors know and asked if she could call in situations like these. Because it was early on a Saturday and it wasn’t a rush, she checked with us first. (Keep those neighbor – favors for when you really need them!)

Who is on your support team? Today is a great day to think about what you will do WHEN…

– Tara Reed