I am recently retired and as I have so much time at home, I like to try to be useful.
This morning, for example, I went to the basement to bring up a loaf of bread and some peanut butter for breakfast. When I got down there, I pulled the string to turn on the basement light, but it didn’t come on at first, so I pulled it until it did. I then returned upstairs with the peanut butter. When my wife asked where the bread was, I went back down to get it.
Later, my wife sent me to the garage to get a screwdriver and some paper towels. On entering the garage, I noticed that the car door was ajar, so I closed it, then returned to the house with the screwdriver. Later, when I remembered, I went back to get the paper towels.
That afternoon, I volunteered to make us both a drink. I got the rum out, and poured a shot into a glass as the dog begged for a treat. I gave the dog a treat and returned to the living room with my drink. My wife asked me where hers was, and I went back and made her one.
Though my wife appreciated that I was trying to be helpful, she was rightfully concerned that I seemed to be forgetting to do some of the things I was supposed to be doing.
So she went online, and found that, as you get older, you can more easily get sidetracked when you try to do too many things at once. For me, apparently two things were too many things. I had been subconsciously substituting an act I hadn’t been expecting to do for one I was supposed to do. Closing the car door had counted as one of the two things I had gone to the garage for. This is elderly multitasking and it’s common.
So my wife went to work and put together a wonderful program I use to help me remember what it is I am supposed to be doing. Things are so much better now! It’s such a relief to rarely forget what I’ve gone somewhere to do.
The reasons I am writing this are two-fold. One is to clearly elucidate a problem elderly folk encounter, which, with the help of my wife, I’ve done. The second is to joyfully let people know in detail how they can easily go about alleviating this problem.