For seniors who are beginning to become forgetful or are on the “dementia spectrum”, keeping track of the things they need to do during the day can become a challenge.
Hiding the fact that it's a challenge is very common and can take a lot of effort! Some of the unusual behaviors people see towards the beginning – when you aren't quite sure what is happening – are a result of this effort to “cover” and pretend they still have everything under control.
We definitely saw this with my dad and I've talked to relatives, friends and lots of other people who describe similar behaviors and challenges. You may begin to find lists around the house when the person wasn't a list person before. Or the number of lists increases or odd things pop up on lists… we found a list my dad made that had things like “It rained Monday” or “I went to the movies” on them… as if he was using the list to remind himself not only of things that he needed to do in the future but to help him remember things in the past.
He would become irritated or angry if he forgot something – lashing out at us instead of saying “I forgot”.
As it became more and more apparent that he needed help remembering what to do and what events were coming up, we, like many families, got creative. We tried post-it notes around the house with reminders. My mom put a calendar on the fridge so he could see when someone was visiting or when he was volunteering (he thought he was a volunteer at the adult day care he went to to give my mom and break and give him a sense of purpose and socialization in a safe environment). It got to the point where we had to cross off the days that were over so it was easier for him to track what day it was or what days were coming up soon.
Some people use notebooks, pocket calendars, phone apps…
When I attended the McGinty Conference in Portland, Oregon in November, put on by the Alzheimer's Association, I met the creators of KalendarKards®. I, like many others, said, “Wow! That would have been really helpful!”
If you have a parent or loved one who lives and home and just needs some help keeping their days and week organized, I highly recommend you consider KalendarKards®.
KalendarKards® were designed out of necessity. One of the inventor's mother-in-law was having difficulty remembering things but she was still healthy and able enough to live at home. They too had tried post it notes and calendars but thought there was a better way – and they created it! Look how happy she is with her system!
KalendarKards® is a system of 197 poker sized cards in a stacked stand so it is easy for the person to see each day and the next task. A family member or caregiver helps set the week up on the left hand side and as the person does each task, they move the card to the right. It's simple and all in one place.
- Yellow: Time and Day
- Blue: Health
- Red: Important
- Orange: Chores
- Green: Appointments
- Red: Important
While there are many pre-created cards like “lock the doors” or “turn off the stove” for saftety reminders or “doctor's appoint” or “take your medication” in the health care section, there are blank cards that a family can customize since each person will have different activities and reminder needs.
One of the challenges of course, is how do you get someone having trouble remembering, to remember to check their KalendarKards® deck in the first place?
Well, they thought of that too! They created a rubber wrist band that says “check your KalendarKards” that the person wears. If it is always on their wrist, it will catch their attention and remind them to go check the box until they get into the habit. It is also a good idea to put it in an obvious spot that they will pass by often.
I love this product! It aids the person to keep things straight so they won't have to spend as much time trying to remember or have as much anxiety if they forget. It is also a great tool if you have different people checking on or caring for someone – you don't have to write notes, text or email each other – just check the box so you, too, know what is going on.
This is a great tool for seniors in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer's or those with mild cognitive impairment. It's a way to allow them to stay home longer, live independently and age in place. If using this system helps them stay at home for even a month longer than they would have otherwise, your family will be saving thousands of dollars.
The US national average cost of assisted living is approximately $4-6,000 / month. The investment of $79.95 for this system will save you money, keep your parent or loved one more independent and give everyone peace of mind!
If you have a parent or loved one with mild cognitive impairment, you should look into KalendarKards®. CLICK HERE to buy it on Amazon [affiliate link]
Here's to finding solutions to keep your loved one safe and at home as long as possible!
– Tara Reed
P.S. While I will earn a small commission from Amazon if you click the link and make a purchase, know that I never endorse or recommend a product I don't believe in.