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15 Effective Speech Therapy Exercises for Adults: Using a Monthly Calendar

Having plenty of high-quality treatment materials is a must.

But sometimes you can adapt a single worksheet to use with many different diagnoses and patient goals!

One such worksheet is a monthly calendar. For quick treatment planning, keep blank copies of a calendar worksheet handy.

Adult Speech Therapy’s Monthly Calendar Worksheet

For a print-and-go calendar—plus 30 more speech therapy exercises for adults!—check out our free guide, Functional Cognitive Tasks for Adults.

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Calendar Tasks for Memory Treatment

speech therapy exercises for adults

Before using the calendar tasks, teach your patients the memory strategies. These are the tools that your patient will use during memory tasks, and then in their daily lives.

1. Orientation Exercise

orientation exercises speech therapy

For patients with moderate to severe memory impairments, use a monthly calendar to work on orientation.

Have the patient fill out:

  • The year
  • The month
  • The date
  • Holidays
  • Important events
  • Important appointments, etc.

Next, ask them questions about what they just wrote down:

  • “What year is it?”
  • “What month is it?”
  • “What’s tomorrow’s date?”
  • “What holiday is on the 25th?”
  • “What day is your neurology appointment?”
  • “How many Saturdays are in this month?”
  • “How many days until your appointment?”

2. Write Down Appointments

speech therapy exercises for adults

Help patients with mild or moderate memory impairment to remember to write down their appointments.

Ask the patient to write down all of their appointments for the month on the calendar. Example appointments are:

  • Doctor appointments
  • Therapy appointments
  • Family events (lunch with Reiko, Remy’s birthday party, etc.)

In a later session, review that calendar with the patient to check whether they wrote down their appointments. Encourage them to do so, as needed.

3. Organize The Environment

organize the environment memory treatment

An organized environment supports improved memory.

In addition to organizing the physical space (reducing clutter, adding containers with labels, etc.), use a calendar exercise to help patients organize their schedule.

Using a monthly calendar, have the patient:

  • Create a daily checklist (feed cat, take medication, etc.)
  • Create a weekly checklist (put out the trash, speech therapy, etc.)
  • Review the day’s calendar at the same time every day. Have them set a cellphone alarm 2 hours before every appointment
  • Review next week’s calendar and take any needed steps:
    • Text a caregiver to request a ride to an appointment, buy a birthday gift, etc.

Calendar Tasks for Anosognosia

4. Awareness Cue

Patients must be aware of their cognitive deficit for treatment to be truly effective.

Print out the monthly calendar on brightly-colored paper for patients working on improving awareness. Place it right on the fridge (or somewhere else they can’t miss!)

Use the calendar as a visual reminder that the patient has a deficit in memory, problem-solving, visual neglect, etc. as well as to remind them of upcoming events.

For more anosognosia treatment ideas, see How to Improve Awareness.

Calendar Tasks for Problem Solving

5. Medication Management

medication management tasks

Incorporate a calendar into a medication management task.

The patient:

  • Adds reminders to take their medications (daily, twice daily, etc.)
  • Adds reminders for when to call for a prescription refill
  • Crosses out the medication (but only after they’ve taken it)

6. Sequencing Task

functional cognitive tasks for adults

Upgrade the Medication Management task by adding a sequencing task.

Let’s use the example of adding medication reminders to a calendar:

Place the steps into the correct order, using the numbers 1 through 4.

 Write down when to take medication #1 on my calendar

 Cross out the medication I took today

 Write down when to take medication #2 on my calendar

 Gather my medications

7. Practical Math

functional math worksheets

Practice problem-solving strategies by creating practical math problems out of a calendar task.

Examples of practical math:

  • Calculate how many days are between events on the calender
  • Calculate what time to leave the house in order to get to an appointment on time
  • Calculate when to make an online purchase to receive the item by a certain date

8. Paying Bills

functional cognitive tasks for adult speech therapy

Add a calendar exercise to a financial management task.

Help patients create and stick with a bill-paying schedule by marking important dates on the calendar.

Have patients:

  • Mark bill due dates
  • Decide when to pay monthly bills and add those to the calendar
  • Cross out due dates and payment dates (only after completed)

9. Meal Planning

functional problem solving scenarios for adults

Help your patient improve independence (and nutrition!) by creating a meal plan. Make a calendar exercise part of the problem-solving process.

Using a monthly calendar, have the patient:

  • Decide on the same days each week to 1) meal plan and, 2) grocery shop
  • Mark when to meal plan
  • Mark when to grocery shop
  • Cross out each task only after completion

10. Plan a Trip

calendar task for adult speech therapy

Improve problem-solving—and have fun while doing it!—by planning a patient’s upcoming or wish-list vacation.

  • Print out a list of important dates (departure, whale watching tour, sushi master class, etc.)
  • Have the patient review the appointments for about a minute
  • Have them fill out a blank calendar with the appointments
  • Encourage them to only add pertinent information (“Return Fiji 10:00 am” “Kite surfing on Main Beach”)

Calendar Tasks for Attention

For more attention treatment ideas, see Attention Activities for Adults.

11. Selective Attention

speech therapy exercises attention

Choose a calendar task that’s appropriate for your patient’s level and goals. Now add distractions!

Example distractions:

  • Background noise
  • Other people around
  • Open the window or door
  • Other items on the work space

Measure accuracy by counting the number of cues needed to complete the task or by task accuracy.

12. Sustained Attention

sustained attention exercises

Choose a calendar task that’s appropriate for your patient’s goals. For example, meal planning or medication management.

Work towards maintaining attention to a single task for increasing periods of time (while maintaining accuracy).

Measure accuracy by counting the number of cues and time needed to complete the task or by task accuracy.

13. Alternating Attention

speech therapy exercises for adults

Choose an appropriate calendar exercise that requires switching between 2 different cognitive tasks.

Alternating attention calendar tasks ideas:

  • Switching between scanning bills and writing due dates on the calendar
  • Switching between an airline confirmation email and writing dates on the calendar
  • Being interrupted by a text or phone call during the task
  • Reading then following instructions
  • Completing a list of tasks

Measure accuracy by counting the number of cues needed to complete the task or by task accuracy.

14. Divided Attention

attention activities for adults

Choose a second task for the patient to do at the same time as a calendar task.

Divided attention ideas:

  • Answer questions while doing a calendar task
  • Talking on the phone while doing a calendar task
  • Doing a calendar task that requires 2 components. For example, making a grocery list while adding meal-planning dates to the calendar
  • Teach the calendar task to another person while simultaneously doing it

Measure accuracy by counting the number of cues needed to complete the task or by task accuracy.

Calendar Tasks for Visual Neglect

15. Visual Neglect Strategies

scanning tasks visual neglect

Use an appropriate calendar task to practice visual neglect strategies.

Remember to place the calendar at the patient’s midline and cue as needed.

Example visual neglect calendar tasks:

  • Finger scanning across the lines of the calendar
  • Mental imagery to visualize the space of the visual neglect. For example, imaging the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday headings for patients with left visual neglect
  • Using an anchor, such as a bold red line, on the affected side of the calendar
  • Using organized scanning to find a specific piece of information. For example, to find today’s date
  • Making it a cancellation task. Have them cross out the days of the month that have passed

More Speech Therapy Exercises for Adults

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