Help with forgetfulness

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    • #82564

      My girlfriend have severe problems with forgetting and she has recently been diagnosed with ADHD. I also have ADHD and I know forgetfulness is very common in people with ADHD, but I have never had any big problems with forgetting things. I have had problems with other things, which means that I do not have any tips or tricks that can help her. I have read many articles with tips on how you can help yourself remembering things. But the thing is that her biggest problem is that she misplaces important things all the time. During the last 7 months she has lost 2 passports, 2 national IDs, 2 bankcards(3 if you count with the one we got back because the local store’s staff found it), 3 buss cards and 2 cell phones. It is quite a problem that she keeps losing things that can cause big problems if it gets into the wrong hands. So my question is: Does anyone know of good gadgets that can help you keep stuff in the right place or make it harder to lose things?
      For example I have been thinking of buying tags that you can track with GPS and put it on her keychain so if she loses them we can track them. I am sorry if my post is a bit confusing, but I think you get the idea. All tips and ideas of any sort are welcome.

    • #82790
      Penny Williams

      Yes, the GPS trackers (like Tile) are great for items you can attach them to, like keys. iPhones have the “Find My Phone” feature to help you track a lost cellphone.

      Many people with ADHD also establish a “launch pad” in their homes. It’s a spot by the door where you enter and exit, where you put everything — keys, phone, glasses, wallet, purse, briefcase, etc. Once a habit is created to use it, it will reduce losing things at home.

      There are more strategies in these articles too:

      “I Misplace at Least One Thing a Day.”

      I Lose, Therefore I Am

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #83188

      Do not overcomplicate it. Have a box or a “place” near the front door, mine is in my dinning room hutch, and keep everything important in it that isn’t used daily. Do not overcomplicate by trying to file things or have “organized” separate locations. Also, a wallet that is connected to the cell phone (Otter box has a great one) is a huge help. Place bus cards or credit cards in it and use an app to find your phone when it is on silent (icloud’s find an iphone or findafriend app). My husband is a great help to me by being there with cash when my ADD symptoms are bad and holding onto my extra credit card so I only have to keep track of one credit card and my license. Take pictures of her cards so she can put them on hold while temporarily looking for them without starting a new account.

      She may always occasionally lose something and you can’t expect perfection. This happens to me during times of high stress, but things can improve significantly and be less frustrating for the both of you. You can be a great help to her but simplify…simplify. Good luck.

    • #83246

      The tiles help – my daughter bought them for me for Christmas. I use them for my phone, my keys, my work pass and the remote…. the things I’m constantly searching for.

    • #83269

      Make sure she does the work/and feels the cost to replace these items
      If she doesn’t “feel the Pain” it will continue, but perhaps if she does
      “feel the consequences” she will try to improve.
      If you cover costs or fix things for her – she definitely will continue and you will be enabling her.

    • #83288

      As someone with ADHD who loses things chronically, I have to say that I lose important items even if I’m the one paying for them. Every time I buy a new phone (5 in the last 1.5 years, BTW) I tell myself this will be the last time I am so careless, because it’s expensive, wasteful, and so embarrassing. I don’t lose things because I don’t care about them or underestimate their value, I lose things because I am basically indiscriminately inattentive, no matter how important something is. Medication has really helped me be more consistent and organized with where I put things, and the Tile app and tags help me when I misplace things around the house. However, neither of those are fail safe, so having one spot where I put my important items (a small filing cabinet for documents, a spot near the door for keys and wallet) is really helpful. I also recently started using a Thread wallet, which means I can keep my important cards and cash on a keychain with my keys. For whatever reason, having my keys and my wallet attached to each other has significantly decreased how often they get lost.

      I’d be willing to bet that losing important things so often is really stressful and embarrassing for your girlfriend, and I’d also be willing to bet that your support and interest in helping her means the world to her. I know that’s the case for me with my husband. Good luck to both of you!

    • #83304

      agree with some of the suggestions like Tile attachments, a place to dump all her stuff when she walks in the door, etc. Sounded like she wasn’t having so much difficulty finding things at home, but more so losing them when out and about, like forgetting to retrieve her credit cards, bus cards, ID cards, etc. after using them. Wasn’t clear whether she was losing 2 passports during travels abroad, or just in the house, or when used locally (not sure for what). Many of these things might be amenable to trackers like Tile, even passports, even cell phones, too, in case she doesn’t have another computer from which to use the Find-My-Phone app, ID/credit/bank cards,etc., etc., etc, Can confirm with her credit card companies, etc., whether attaching a Tile-type unit would be problematic (shouldn’t be, as long as it’s placed strategically to not interfere with the magnetic strip and the imbedded chip…)

      No mention was made as to whether she is taking ADD medication to help manage her dysfunction. If not, this should definitely be considered, and from your description, strongly recommended, as it has definitely been shown to reduce distractability, impulsivity, procrastination,and more !!!!!
      If she is, it should be reevaluated as to effectiveness of the dose. This can make a tremendous difference!!!

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by ADDdoc.
    • #84006
      Coach Agnes Green

      Believe me, she feels the consequences of her actions. That is not the problem or the solution. We lose things because our attention is not fully placed on the task at hand. This is because our ADHD brain is like Grand Central Station at rush hour. Anxiety makes it worse, so if she is travelling, which is stressful I can understand why she is losing her passport. The first thing that has helped me is wearing a cross body purse, most ADDers are tactile. We need to physically feel things. Before I started wearing a crossbody purse I would leave it everywhere. Now, not feeling it on my shoulder while walking out the door is more natural to me than relying on my memory. Another thing is to create habits when it comes to these things. Everything goes back to the same place no matter what. Even if you notice your keys on the coffee table, pick them up and put them in the place they belong. My purse is the holding place for the basics, sunglasses, keys, phone, etc. If I am not using it then it goes in my purse, including my phone, even if I am at home. After a few weeks, this will become a habit and she will no longer need to rely on the part of her brain that uses her working memory.

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