Remaining independent: Tips & tricks for creating good habits

Posted by fiesty76 @fiesty76, Jan 8, 2020

Concerned because a neighbor has called three times in recent months to tell me my garage door had been standing open for several hours and was checking to see if I was ok. While very grateful for the calls and after the 1st call immediately posted a sign on my utility door as a reminder to “close door”, two more calls followed that 1st one.

I’ve lived alone in my home for decades. I’m 76 and still maintain my home and do my own yard work. While I’ve laughed for years that I have always been a bit scatter brained, I am also fiercely independent and not yet ready to relocate out of state near my daughter and into a sr living establishment.

I’m looking into installing a locking system for my automatic garage door but if I continue to fail to press whatever buttons required to close or engage the system, I will not be able to live alone in this house. Any suggestions or tips on how I can “train” myself to be Sure that garage is firmly down?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Aging Well group.

Thanks for your response, @danab. Smiling because humility isn't one of my top traits however, I'm becoming more and more familiar with the concept as time passes. Be safe and well.

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You are not alone. The spouse (or I) left the door up all night one night last week.

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This is a pain to deal with…I am almost 84 and worry about doing things out of sync….(I hang paintings on my fence to cheer up people walking by…and have to bring them in at nightfall)I have found that putting up a Visuel reminder sign where I am going to see it first thing in the AM or last thing in the PM. I also have a short reminder list that I go through daily when working something into my daily routine…My son thinks this is silly and takes down my notes but I persevere and make other more discrete note for myself. I wonder if you could install a buzzer system that would buzz until you closed the garage door? Also being stressed I find makes it harder to remember to do things….so try to avoid stressful interactions too…Good luck hope you are able to solve this problem

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I have a list by the door. Keys, phone, watch, wallet, pills, SHOES, mask. hat, oximeter.
yes, I have gotten a block from home and looked down and had my SLIPPERS on!
I take lots of notes but often they are incomplete and useless.
I have a routine for everything. Since I do volunteer work I have a super young assistant and I am lucky enough to have half a brain left IF I don't fall asleep in the middle of a sentence. Where I live if you don't close up tight you may not wake up so I do my closing and bed routine a few times (did I bolt the door?) I know how everyone feels on this memory business.

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see my other comment but
NOTES everywhere. Taped above the door knob. On the place, your eyes first see when you open the door. on the fridge, on the commode EVERYWHERE
we have a problem but we are still viable people.
o

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This is a great reflective topic. Both my husband and myself have been having bouts of forgetfulness or as my husband say brain farts. 😄
No-one as they age want to accept signs of memory issues. But I have found the sooner you recognize and accept cognizant challenges and changes the quicker you can address underlying issues causing them and then come up with ways to help you address how to tackle the issue.

My husband and I did just that. What we came up with is we had interrupted sleep patterns. We noticed that going to bed at 9:00 we were getting up to use the bathroom at 1:00 or various odd hours. We also noticed that we both experienced hot flashes at night which interrupted our sleep patterns as we are throwing covers on and off the body and or getting up to remove clothing from sweating.

Another thing that interrupted sleep patterns was the occasional snoring we both do. We howl like wolves 🐺 Some sleep apnea issues.

We also have some toxic family issues that have kept us up at night.

We come to realize that those issues causes lack of sleep and seriously impacted our short and long term memory. 😅 We are grateful we analyzed our ourselves because dementia is always lurking in the background.

We are aiming at getting in more exercise and continue to modify our eating and drinking (occasional alcoholic beverages) habits.

We have stop drinking liquids at 6:00 to address night time bathroom trips. We try to eat our last meal no later than 4:00 and move around to allow our body to digest food better before bedtime. We take cool baths before bedtime and put the house at a comfortable temperature to address hot flashes.

We address toxic issues and people right away and if no resolution we remove them. Life is too short to be stressed out about others nonsensical lifestyles and decisions.

We have had some good success making these changes and are getting good results and experiencing some good night sleeps. Man a good night sleep does foster a clear refreshed memory. It’s a work in progress but thank God for his interventions.

Hopefully this helps someone. Happy stress free living, laughing and loving.

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One of the things we have started is to declutter. Believe it or not, getting rid of the unused, the unloved and the junk we have an easier time finding things and managing our lives.
Our goal is to empty every nook and cranny, get what we use organized in plain sight on shelves or in accessible drawers. Now when one of us is hunting for batteries, for example, the other can say "in the tool room cabinet, box marked batteries."
We also have simplified our clothing to exactly what fits in our closet & dressers. We no longer have to hunt through boxes, the trunk, the "other closet" – and so far neither of us has had to go naked.😁
What organizing tricks have you used to be able to find things?
Sue

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@sueinmn

One of the things we have started is to declutter. Believe it or not, getting rid of the unused, the unloved and the junk we have an easier time finding things and managing our lives.
Our goal is to empty every nook and cranny, get what we use organized in plain sight on shelves or in accessible drawers. Now when one of us is hunting for batteries, for example, the other can say "in the tool room cabinet, box marked batteries."
We also have simplified our clothing to exactly what fits in our closet & dressers. We no longer have to hunt through boxes, the trunk, the "other closet" – and so far neither of us has had to go naked.😁
What organizing tricks have you used to be able to find things?
Sue

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Erm, well…

I use a Wacom pen and tablet for my work. I work from home nowadays and often, okay I'll come clean; usually can't find it when come back from a quick pee, drink, Kitchen Whatever, or cat cuddle session.

So, I decided to train myself. Bear with me. Every night after shutting down the computer I would hide the pen so I would find it the next day. It had to be 'visible', not inside something inside something inside something.
This went well, until it did not. I spent almost half a day trying to find it. Which I thankfully did. But oh… 🙄 The affront!

I used to have this great little clip to place it in but those days are gone.

I decided on said Designated Space last week.
The next step is Thinking ✍ About ✍ That ✍ Space.

I have a tip though!
If you have smart LED lights such as Hue from Philips' Signify you can create an alarm for certain tasks, and you can set up a light that will turn on after you leave a space, or to have it automatically turned off. You can even make a light turn on if the temperature drops below a level, or if there is motion. You can have a light turn on around the time you go to bed to remind you to shut the garden door. And of course they are pretty lights that you can use to simulate a beach fire or a candle flame. Anyway: this might help, it helps me!

Oh, as I type this I remember the garden door is still open… 😹

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@ellamster

Erm, well…

I use a Wacom pen and tablet for my work. I work from home nowadays and often, okay I'll come clean; usually can't find it when come back from a quick pee, drink, Kitchen Whatever, or cat cuddle session.

So, I decided to train myself. Bear with me. Every night after shutting down the computer I would hide the pen so I would find it the next day. It had to be 'visible', not inside something inside something inside something.
This went well, until it did not. I spent almost half a day trying to find it. Which I thankfully did. But oh… 🙄 The affront!

I used to have this great little clip to place it in but those days are gone.

I decided on said Designated Space last week.
The next step is Thinking ✍ About ✍ That ✍ Space.

I have a tip though!
If you have smart LED lights such as Hue from Philips' Signify you can create an alarm for certain tasks, and you can set up a light that will turn on after you leave a space, or to have it automatically turned off. You can even make a light turn on if the temperature drops below a level, or if there is motion. You can have a light turn on around the time you go to bed to remind you to shut the garden door. And of course they are pretty lights that you can use to simulate a beach fire or a candle flame. Anyway: this might help, it helps me!

Oh, as I type this I remember the garden door is still open… 😹

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LOVEDF your note!! I do not know what a Wacom pen is? Whatever, I love your sense of humor and your plan on "How to find stuff" I am so busy with all kinds of necessary duties, I am lucky to have this time to be on the computer. Sounds exaggerated, but trust me, not so. I am in my 80's and luckily can drive and do all kinds of things with PN always a pain.. yes PIZA is true. Nonetheless, it is good to hear of solutions to my horrible memory. I think some of it is my strong BP meds, (combined with old age.)
I live alone, but have Grandson I can call on if necessary. (One out of nine) LOL, but it is NOT really funny.
Just a thank you for the tips. Best wishes!
Fala ( my real Grandmother name)

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@fala

LOVEDF your note!! I do not know what a Wacom pen is? Whatever, I love your sense of humor and your plan on "How to find stuff" I am so busy with all kinds of necessary duties, I am lucky to have this time to be on the computer. Sounds exaggerated, but trust me, not so. I am in my 80's and luckily can drive and do all kinds of things with PN always a pain.. yes PIZA is true. Nonetheless, it is good to hear of solutions to my horrible memory. I think some of it is my strong BP meds, (combined with old age.)
I live alone, but have Grandson I can call on if necessary. (One out of nine) LOL, but it is NOT really funny.
Just a thank you for the tips. Best wishes!
Fala ( my real Grandmother name)

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Hi Fala!
A Wacom tablet is like a pad on which you can 'write' with a Wacom pen.
You place it next to the laptop or keyboard and hold the pen like a regular pen, clicking on the pad or dragging it to navigate and select files on your computer.
Some people place the pad in front of them but I am a teacher and frown heavily so they understand 😹
Here is an illustration of such a Wacom tablet and pen that I made years ago (see below). Mind you: the models have changed 😊 And I never had one of those fancy pink pens. Most are now black.

Thanks for loving my text; this made me smile 😊

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@ellamster

Hi Fala!
A Wacom tablet is like a pad on which you can 'write' with a Wacom pen.
You place it next to the laptop or keyboard and hold the pen like a regular pen, clicking on the pad or dragging it to navigate and select files on your computer.
Some people place the pad in front of them but I am a teacher and frown heavily so they understand 😹
Here is an illustration of such a Wacom tablet and pen that I made years ago (see below). Mind you: the models have changed 😊 And I never had one of those fancy pink pens. Most are now black.

Thanks for loving my text; this made me smile 😊

Jump to this post

So, you took the time to explain what a Wacom pen is. Thank you! I think that is very clever! I an a note keeper…but I have strayed my my own rule to ONLY write things I must refer to in my DESK NOTEBOOK!! Broke my own rules, always in a rush, I have all these notes in an empty tissue box….while the notebook is right behind me . Phew! Don't know how many patterns I can change successfully at my age, but I will keep that in mind…(once my family crisis is over.)
The old saying, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade"…does not fly in this case.
With all of us with Medical issues and physical limitations, all the tips we can get are greatly appreciated!
My best to you with whatever comes along!
Fala

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I actually have a tip too.
When I suddenly remember I should do something I SHOULD DO IT immediately. If I don't I often forget about it.
If I really can't do it at that moment I need something to remember it. I have a marker in one of the kitchen drawers and use the white glass tiles to write what that is.
Next thing of course is to remind myself to check the tiles 🙄 But a little alarm on the phone helps.

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