Memo is best received if the elder
- Finds it interesting, engaging and uncomplicated
- Does not view it as a medical or “big brother” device
Important tips for introducing and referring to Memo with the elder you care for:
- The family (or another caregiver or friendly person) should eliminate the packaging from the tablet, and present it personally, rather than mailing the tablet with the Memo application to the elder
- The caregiver should become familiar with the device and prepare a little introduction prior to presenting it
- The introduction should occur at a pleasant get-together rather than at a stressful time.
- The introduction should be made as a gift from the family or caregiver, not as a medical device.
- The device should be described as “a way we can keep in touch better” or “a way to help us (not you) remember important things” or “something that will help us stay organized.”
- The caregiver should remain and provide a tutorial and give assistance as necessary.
- Including fun and personal messages or uploading photos will help the elder see the device as interesting and engaging, and they’ll want to look at it often
- Consider starting with just one or two elements, like the date/time and photos, and add more over time
- Above all, Memo must not be presented with blame, guilt, criticism, or shame about forgetfulness.
- If the elder has a negative reaction, take it lightly, put Memo away immediately and try another time, in another context.
- The caregiver should try to phone a few times in the days afterward and prompt the elder to see the new photos or features, walking them through the process if necessary.
Reminder messages should be thoughtfully considered and written in a way so as not to alienate or upset the elder:
“Don’t go outside today—it’s too cold!”
“Don’t eat dessert—it’s bad for your blood sugar”
“Don’t wear that green dress again today—you wore it all week and it’s dirty!”
“The plumber is coming again today at 10am because you missed the appointment yesterday.”
“Quit worrying about your bills—you paid them"
“Wear your big blue down coat and a hat if you go outside today—it’s cold!”
“It’s OK to have a sugar-free cookie in the red box after dinner”
“Wear your pink suit today—it’s fresh from the cleaners and hanging in your closet.”
“The plumber is coming today at 10am”
“All your bills have been paid this month.”