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 Support Group.

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… 😹

REPLY
@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 😊

REPLY
@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 😊

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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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I make lists all the time…I need them, they reduce the stress of worrying about forgetting…I make piles of to do payments in order of importance and note stuff on a calendar so I don’t miss appointments, payments and birthdays..I chk. My calendar when I chk. My phone to see if there are messages and chk emails while I eat B’fast and watch news….which means at around noon I am free to paint/write the rest of the day….It’s not perfect but it’s private and helps alot….and gets around the teasing I get for my putting up reminder notes…The thing that I find irritating that in general it is okay to forget things when you’re under 50 but if over 70 you are be you are a senile old bag. Pisses me off big time.

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@fromthehill

I make lists all the time…I need them, they reduce the stress of worrying about forgetting…I make piles of to do payments in order of importance and note stuff on a calendar so I don’t miss appointments, payments and birthdays..I chk. My calendar when I chk. My phone to see if there are messages and chk emails while I eat B’fast and watch news….which means at around noon I am free to paint/write the rest of the day….It’s not perfect but it’s private and helps alot….and gets around the teasing I get for my putting up reminder notes…The thing that I find irritating that in general it is okay to forget things when you’re under 50 but if over 70 you are be you are a senile old bag. Pisses me off big time.

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Your methods and attitude are inspiring. I make lists and notes on a paper calendar but attention to health issues and what it takes to maintain independence affect my getting to my reminders, more frequent now with age.
I need noise reminders, available to those with smart phones or Alexa. I treasure my 2 ancient analog wind up alarm clocks that are easily reset – until the wind up mechanism fails from overuse! Most 60 minute kitchen timers don't seem to last long and I don't want to fiddle with batteries on the digital ones.

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It is important to stay independent. I have been looking into those independent living places. They are tiny. I wouldn't have any of my things around me. They aren't even big enough for me to bring my own bed. I make a point of asking this question when I talk with the sales people. I am trying to do everything I can to stay in my own home. I do everything except the heavy cleaning. I will be 88 in 13 days. I try to keep my mind engaged. Depending on how much longer I have to live, I may have to go into assisted living. So that's what I am doing now. I visited one facility. It was not as bad as I feared. At least I could get my bed in it. I have plans to visit two more. Then I will leave instructions for whomever will have to take care of me. Hopefully this will never happen.

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@thisismarilynb

It is important to stay independent. I have been looking into those independent living places. They are tiny. I wouldn't have any of my things around me. They aren't even big enough for me to bring my own bed. I make a point of asking this question when I talk with the sales people. I am trying to do everything I can to stay in my own home. I do everything except the heavy cleaning. I will be 88 in 13 days. I try to keep my mind engaged. Depending on how much longer I have to live, I may have to go into assisted living. So that's what I am doing now. I visited one facility. It was not as bad as I feared. At least I could get my bed in it. I have plans to visit two more. Then I will leave instructions for whomever will have to take care of me. Hopefully this will never happen.

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Good luck with your plan…You seem to be organized…I will be organizing with my lawyer a codicil to my will and power of attorney for care that I am appointing a second person of trust so that my son will have someone available to help him or take over if it is too much for him and he requests. I feel I can relax a bit now. I plan to age in place with my paintings and books close to hand…Happy Birthday to you in 13 days. You are an admirable example to look up to.

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