Senior Parents Need Help Keeping Track of Dates? Here’s A Simple, Low-Tech Tip To Help Caregivers

by Kaye Swain

Whiteboard markers on mirrors are a big help for the Sandwich Generation granny nanny and senior momLately, my senior mom and I have both had  uber busy schedules. She's had several doctor and dentist appointments and when I'm not busy taking her to them, I've been doing more babysitting than usual. Couple that with all the normal goings ons and it's easy for either of us to forget who's doing what when. Of course, I rely on my second brain – my iPhone. But my senior mom needed some extra help too, and she did not want any tech solution – not even her pretty blue iPad. So we went low-tech and it's working well.

We bought a set of white-board markers and an eraser and put them in her bathroom which is downstairs. She is the primary user of that room, but I usually find myself in there at least once a day. When I do, I'll spot past notes, which reminds me to update it for her each day. I'll list what I'm doing, any upcoming appointments she might have, and even any special medication information – like when to take a short-term antibiotic or when she last took Tylenol, etc. 

It's not perfect, but it really is working quite well over all. I've even stuck a couple of markers in my bathroom to help me keep track of Tylenol I might take in the middle of the night.

I usually write at the top of the mirror or all the way to the left to keep from blocking our view for doing our hair, or other needs. Even if the writing is further down, we can still see quite well. And if the marker sprouts legs and disappears, toilet paper wipes the marker off as well.

All in all, we're both very happy with this simple and low-tech solution to keeping her up-to-date on appointments for her and me. How about you? Have you tried this idea or do you have other suggestions? We'd love to hear! 

Rednesday adds a fun seasoning to the day of the Sandwich Generation caring for elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren

Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren

Kaye

P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. I do my best to reply to them all but value your patience when that isn\'t possible.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen

This is a great idea! I wish I’d use my phone or computer, but don’t. I used an old style datebook!
Karen

2 Joan Adams

Great idea and so simple! I will definitely buy myself some whiteboard markers and get busy on my mirror!! Thank you!
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3 Kaye Swain

Thanks Joan! And you’re very welcome. I wish I’d thought of it sooner, myself. :)

4 Kaye Swain

My senior mom still prefers that too, Karen – and even my grandkids started on one of those this year. I doubt they’ll ever go out of style because they’re so easy. My problem was I kept losing them. But my cell phone I’m good at hanging on to :)

5 Anne

I love my i phone but I too like old fashioned ideas of keeping in touch! I still use a colorful list of “Things to do Today”! Sometime when I read it out loud it makes me feel like it is more important! Strange I know but I do love paper! Stationery and letter writing and card sending too!
I am glad you system is working for your mom and yourself! Cool idea!
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6 Jenn

The local hospitals keep one of those wipe off boards in the rooms – they don’t always fill them out – but they’re nice when they do. Good idea generally!
Happy Pink Saturday! Jenn
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7 Jenn

I didn’t notice the link at the bottom quickly enough. The above link is not my pink link, it’s something else entirely. Now, I fixed it! :) Thanks,Jenn
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8 Ron Whitaker

Great idea. So funny, we all have the tech gadgets, but sometimes we simply realize the old-school, no-tech approach works best!

A white board is a fantastic idea…also, just a good, old-fashioned paper notebook that is small enough to fit in a purse or in your hand so you can take it with you everywhere!
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9 Chip Allen

Great post, Kaye. I’m delighted to finally meet someone else with a love of dry erase markers.

I use my windows in my work office while working. And the sliding glass door at home to teach my kids homework. I’ll add the mirror idea too now – can’t believe I never thought of that!

10 Kaye Swain

Hi Ron, I lived by that kind of notebook for years! Problem is, I tend to take it out and transcribe it, then misplace it OYYYYY. My cell phone I’m more attached to and so far haven’t lost it. :) But my senior mom definitely prefers your method as well. :)

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