Early adoption of a memory assist technologies can help individuals stay in control of their lives longer. How many times have we said to ourselves or others “I can’t seem to remember things like I used to” or “I can’t believe I missed that appointment or forgot to send that birthday card” etc.?  There are plenty of technologies that can help us with various aspects of our lives but pulling them all together can be a nightmare.

I am 71 years old and I have an extremely busy life that includes participation in 5 businesses, watching over the care of a developmentally disabled brother, finishing my book The Happiness Curve and being a caring, contributing person to family, friends and community. Two weeks ago, I decided to see if RememberStuff (RS) could help me have a better handle on setting priorities, meeting deadlines and having pertinent information at my finger tips. I have tried various technologies to manage my calendar, manage documents and keep track of the status of things ….. but they are a hassle to coordinate or easily configure for my personal situation.

Over the next few weeks I will share my experiences of using an RS unit on this RememberStuff.com blog.  I will compare it to how I used other technologies and what I have given up and what I have gained.  Both my mother and her mother died of Alzheimer’s disease.  My husband’s mother died of this disease as well.  Many families have experienced the painful path this disease takes and I keep thinking I am next.  I want to do everything that I can now, while I am still functioning well, to stay healthy and have tools to help me stay organized and not become overwhelmed by my daily activities.

—– 1/17/2019  My mom was the first user of our prototype unit.  She lived in Key Largo, Florida and I lived in Columbus, Indiana.

—— 1/20/2019  I purchased an RS Unit for my youngest grandchildren.  I find that I enjoy creating quizzes for them.  I can create quizzes to help them count or do simple math or for them get to know distant relatives and pets through pictures, videos, messages and quizzes.

This picture shows a quiz I created to name the pets in the pictures I present.

My great grandchildren received a RememberStuff unit last night.   Their reactions were adorable.  We look forward to enjoying video clips and creating education quizzes that they will enjoy for many years.  After that, their parents probably will continue with the system in order to keep track of crazy schedules and capturing memories.

 

 

Dementia is heart-breaking and scary and volatile. My sweet, little mom just passed November 30, 2018. She had dementia for 10 years. During her battle with the disease, my heart went out to her as she tried so hard to do things on her own. Sometimes, especially toward the end, she would look into my eyes with her innocent blue eyes and ask “Where’s my mind? I just can’t think.” I look back now at our journey together and my personal determination to apply my skills and resources to help the individuals with the disease and their family members.

What my colleagues and I created was a super secure, dedicated system to help my mom, and individuals in her situation, do things on their own—we wanted to support their dignity and their drive to stay autonomous. We also wanted to help the entire family support my mom and handle the many challenges facing all of us on this journey. The first prototype was a large touchscreen computer that my mom “could help us test.”  She absolutely rose to the occasion. Our goal was to have the system function more as a kiosk than a computer and have it be so simple to use that it required no training. We originally named the product “The Daily Do” because it had a highly informative calendar that would have pop-up reminders and helpful information such as how to find the doctor’s office with pictures of the office and any helpful landmarks. But it was more than a calendar – it captured memories through easy-to-create video clips that we would send back and forth to each. My mom loved the system, and it probably allowed her to stay in her house several years longer than she would have without it.

The disease finally took over not only her mind but her body as well. She is now a little angel. Our time together was special. She was part of the evolution of our product, and she sits on my shoulder as we work to add features and get the word out to others. We ended up calling the product simply “RememberStuff.”