KalendarKards was developed to assist a family member who was having trouble remembering important tasks around her home. The benefits that came from checklists, notes, and follow-up phone calls were taken about as far as possible.
A Caregiver Tool
Through a number of prototypes and revisions, with direct input from that family member, KalendarKards was born. It is based on a 197-card deck of regulation (but highly customized) playing cards. We chose that medium for its familiar tactile feel, and for ease of handling.
As a Caregiver Tool, it provides a more “pro-active” daily structure, rather than responding at random to whatever presents itself. It is a tool that leverages the Caregiver’s time.
Since the family member was the victim of our early prototypes, once we got it fully refined, and she began to enjoy using it, we knew we were on to something.
“Karegiver” is Key
KalendarKards is intended to work in conjunction with a caregiver to assist in building the seven daily decks. They are built based on the user’s (we fondly call the “Karder’s”) routine day. When the decks are placed in the Stadium, they show the entire week at a glance – but with only the next task or event details visible.
Throughout the day, the Karder simply takes the next card, acts on it, and moves it to the slot to the right – the “discard” slot. One at a time throughout the day, and throughout the week, they “Play their Day.” This addresses the need for memory challenged individuals to have only one area of focus at a time.
At the end of the week, the caregiver resets the decks and makes any adjustments for the coming week. This provides a proactive structure for the caregiver to assist the Karder, rather than trying to react to a day where it’s not clear what comes next.
Easy Caregiver Setup with Activity Journal
In our early testing, we found it was sometimes confusing for our family member to see us shuffling dozens of cards as we ask her about her schedule. It would cause her to change her mind and actually mis-remember items.
To make it comfortable for the Karder, and a much improved setup process for the caregiver, we developed the Activity Journal.
The Activity Journal allows the caregiver to have a simple conversation with the Karder, without cards in sight. The caregiver makes notes in the Journal, indicating the type of activity, the time of day, and day of week.
After an easy conversation, the caregiver goes away, builds the decks, and places them in the Stadium. At that point, it is easy to ask the Karder to simply “Play their Day” one card at a time.
Play Your Day
Cards are provided in a number of easily recognizable, color-coded categories. Yellow denotes Day and Time, Blue is Health, Orange identifies Chores, Green is for Appointments, and Red is Important.
To customize the individual’s experience further, we include a generous supply of blank cards and a permanent marker. In this way, you can fully script your loved one’s day to keep them organized and comfortable, knowing they only have to remember one event at a time.
Simple, single, discreet cues are critical. KalendarKards organizes the week, but only one task at a time is shown – and only the next one up.
Remember to Remember
In addition to the KalendarKards Stadium design intended to be on display and make the cards visible throughout the day, we also provide a subtle, but persistent reminder.
A very familiar silicone wrist band is provided as a wearable reminder that says “Check Your KalendarKards.” By having it on the Karder’s wrist at all times, it gently reminds them to stay aware of their next KalendarKards event. More products are planned that will surround your loved one with gentle reminders.
Making a Difference
It is rewarding to get positive feedback about how KalendarKards is supporting Karders in their everyday activities. But it is the feedback from someone who actually doesn’t need it (yet) that is our most heartwarming.
A gentleman shared with us that he has some early memory challenges. Since he and his wife live together and he receives all the support he needs on a daily basis, both he and she agree he doesn’t “really” need it. They also agree though, it’s a great tool to help him stay on track throughout the day.
However, he also stresses (and she agrees)
“If I was alone, I couldn’t live without it!”
Our purpose for being.
For More Information
To see more photos and read more about what’s included in the KalendarKards Memory Support System, please see our Media Kit page. We published that to respond to the growing interest from media outlets who wish to report on KalendarKards. You will find considerable detail there.
Please contact us directly if you have additional questions.
You can order online from our KalendarKards Shop.