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As a family caregiver you will use a variety of tools to help ensure that your elder care efforts are effective and beneficial. While there are many different things that will help you with your efforts, from your vehicle to your friends and family members, to the assistance of an elderly health care services provider, one of the most effective and important tools that you will ever use is your calendar.

A calendar may seem like a simplistic device to use in your care efforts, but by embracing the benefits that this one simple tool can offer you can help to make your elder care efforts smoother, less stressful, and more beneficial for your aging parent. For the most benefit, use a large calendar that you can put on a wall or a desk so that it is readily visible throughout the day. Utilizing only a calendar feature on a phone or tablet makes it so that you cannot customize your calendar as easily and you are less likely to look at the “big picture” of your schedule when you are adding things.


Use these tips to make the most of your calendar as an effective tool in your elder care journey:

  • Use color coding. Color is a powerful tool for helping your mind to process information. When you use it on a calendar you are making it easier for you to organize time and recognize when you may need to rearrange tasks. Use a different color for each of the people in your life, for different types of tasks, or for different levels of importance. You may also want to combine options by using different colors for the different people in your life and then using a bright color such as red to indicate those items that are most important with an underline
  • Fill in set items first. Never assume that just because you do the same things every week that you are going to remember those things when you are planning out your schedule. At the beginning of each month go through the calendar and note everything that you know that you are going to do. This can be as simple as jotting down when you plan to go grocery shopping or making sure that you note your parent’s weekly support groups or regular coffee visits with friends. You can then work around these things when you are adding activities and obligations
  • Schedule time for yourself. This calendar does not have to be a tool just for making sure that your parent’s and children’s tasks are organized. You can also use it to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Choose times when you are going to do something for yourself and write it down on the calendar. Putting it on the calendar makes these breaks for yourself feel more “real” and like actual elements of your schedule rather than just something you can do if you find extra time. This ensures that you will keep up with this time to yourself, protecting your own health and well-being during your care journey.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home elder care in Naples, FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 434-8000 . Ft. Myers: (239) 939-1228 .