My mother-in-law has been using free charity monthly calendars for years, marking off days gone by, and referencing it for appointments. We would write the pickup time and until this past summer, she was good at being ready to go at the pick up time. Through a gradual process, she stopped marking off the days and if she references it, the time just is forgotten as soon as she looks at it. She seems to forget the month and year and most times can't keep track of the day of the week. We did recently get her a dementia clock with the day of the week and date completely spelled out. Time will tell but think that will help her keep more oriented to time, day, month and year. As we approach 2023, we are trying to figure out what sort of paper calendar would work best for her. Should we record upcoming appointments on a monthly or weekly calendar? Any recommendations?
I plan to get a calendar for 2023 that shows only one day at a time and tear off the page each day. He often asks what do we have to do today so I plan on posting the events for only that day. If he is aware of events too far ahead, he becomes anxious trying to be sure he is ready so he doesn't miss anything. My husband is having trouble keeping track and often asks what day it is and a monthly or weekly calendar is no longer helpful to him.
A day is the same as the one before it, the one after it and the one after that.
At some point I think you accept that days are days and meaningless.
YOU become her calendar, her appointment book. You are the one she relies on to get her to the doctor, hair dresser. As long as you are there then she is all set.
Remind her the day before an appointment. Arrive with enough time to make sure she is ready.
If she is living in AL the staff can assist with making sure she is ready. If she is living alone (might want to rethink that) make sure you get there early enough to help if need be. Read your profile, glad she is in AL, have the staff remind her about appointments and help her get ready the morning of.
So, what I did was switched to just me keeping track of her stuff on my google calendar and no longer telling her plans or appointments until the last minute. Cut down on the incessant questions over and over about the plans. So instead of hearing if for days or weeks, I only have to hear it for one day.
The only thing my mom needs to know is about half an hour before the appointment, it's time to get ready cuz we're leaving. There is no need for her to know earlier since she won't remember and won't get ready without being told to, even if it is on a wall calendar.
I should start arriving to pick her up in time for her to get ready before leaving, if I were you. By all means keep her calendar updated *as well*, but it sounds as if the problem is not what kind of calendar she has but that she has stopped referring to it at all, unprompted at least. And there isn't really a format which can fix that.
Keeping track of time and date is, when you think it through, an enormously sophisticated and complex process, and little bits of it can go wrong before it all does. A week ago a lady in her nineties told me what day it was (check) and was pretty good on estimating the time (check) and calculating how long ago she'd arrived home (check). I was yippeeing inside. Then I asked her her date of birth and she was floored. Hadn't a clue.
I got a calender from Staples that covers the freezer door of my refrigerator. The blocks are about 2 1/2 in square. You write in the month and days. Its like a white board.
Alexa has become invaluable to my wife and me as we caretake for my mother. We use Alexa to remind mom to take meds, do her PT, etc. We find Alexa to be a polite micro-manager. And, mom likes to say "Hey, Alexa, play me some music," too. :)
FYI, I have no monetary affiliations with Alexa, any type of the same system should work. It's just what we have so we use it.
Dates, meetings, appointments....do not exist in her mind. I take care of all that and Mom exists in various times of the past.
You are helping her to relax about things that she has no control over, and she knows that you are taking care of all the important stuff - she has no need to worry!
Just what we would all like to have at her age!!
And I know that my daughters will give me that peace of mind when I get more 'wobbly' than I already am.
Lots of love to all from Bristol, England!