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Posts Tagged ‘senior moves’

Imagine having a phone call with your best friend.  Then upon hanging up your wife tells you that the friend you just spoke with has been dead for 25 years.  How confusing and upsetting would that be?

This is how those living with Alzheimer’s feel when corrected.  I have experienced this in my family.  The impulse is your loved one needs to be corrected, but in truth the sense of reasoning is just not there.  They become confused, angry, and embarrassed.  When you experience an older adult with memory loss confused or just wrong in their statements gently find a way to just leave the topic. 

The spring NAPO Organizing Conference in San Diego last week had several workshops to better understand the needs of older adults and those with memory loss.  My colleague and friend Margit Novak had an informative program on this subject.

Novak shared when moving parents, it is helpful to have the new space arranged as similar as possible in their new surroundings.  Other tips include facing older adults when speaking with them and cut out any competition – televisions or other background noises.

The best example I heard to understand how Alzheimer’s affects a patient is to imagine a closed fist is actually a brain.  As Alzheimer’s progresses, the fingers on the fist are not damaged but actually completely disappear.  The short-term memory goes first, but with proper medicines this can be stayed for a long time. 

Understanding the fear and confusion being experienced by dementia and other related memory loss will be helpful in relating to your friends and loved ones.  It will not be easier, but patience and compassion will go a long way in sustaining their quality of life.

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Productivity and Organizing Professionals to Meet in San Diego 

The interior design industry has Westweek at the Pacific Design Center and the food industry meets each May in Chicago at the National Restaurant Association Show.  Next week business productivity professionals and organizing experts for people, residences, and chronic organizing challenges are heading to San Diego for the 23rd Annual NAPO Annual Conference and Organizing Exposition April 6 – 9. 

This year’s theme, Reshaping our Future, Riding the Waves of Change will be highlighted by keynote speakers Julie Morgenstern, Colette Carlson, and Lee Silber.  Over 30 workshops will cover such topics as hoarding, senior moves, tools for business, working with media, client expectations, scrapbooking and so much more.

In the Organizing Exposition over 30 companies will showcase the latest in products and services for organizing homes and offices.   The NAPO Organizing Expo is open to the public for the first time on Thursday, April 7th, from 8 am – 11 am.  For only$25, you will experience some of the best tools available to organize your home and office, all at San Diego’s Town and Country Resort.

It’s not too late to attend the 2011 NAPO Organizing Conference if you are a professional organizer.  Visit www.napo.net for online registration.  Day passes are also available if attendance for all three days is not possible.

Tips for a Successful Business Conference:

1.  Have a good supply of business cards, but remember you make more of an impression by asking for other’s cards and then follow-up with a note or email.

2.  Let colleagues know your cell number before you arrive, it will make connecting much easier.

3.  Plan ahead and research area sites of interest to visit during down time.

4.  Keep your eye on name tags, best way to find information on areas of the industry you want to learn more about.

5.  When in a session, take notes and ask for contact info from others in the class.  Take notes on the back of business cards.  By knowing the session you met, and other pertinent information, future follow-up will be easy.

6.  Check friends travel schedules before leaving.  Money could be saved by sharing rides from airports and train stations.

Successful and dedicated entrepreneurs take advantage of business associations and the benefits they provide.  The National Association of Professional Organizers motivates members to achieve goals, provides training for the latest client solutions, and creates opportunities to network with peers from around the world.  

Some businesses only look for referrals, but when industries gather it shows businesses are concerned with professional development – seeking to be the best they can be for their clients.  Whatever your industry, get involved and ride the waves of change to reshape your future. 

Get It Together LA! will be in San Diego from April 4th – 10th for the NAPO Organizing Conference.  Phone and email messages will be returned within 24 hours during the NAPO Conference.

Photos by Dan Slutsky for the 2010 NAPO Conference

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Today’s elder population is made up of our parents, grandparents; even brothers, sisters and good friends.  People we love and care about.  It is so easy to see what needs to be done to help mom and dad out.  But do you like to be “told” what to do?  Imagine being told that items stacked in your living room are in the way, dangerous, and need to go.  These are things that have help memories of your children, when you were married, career awards, school pictures or other milestones.

According to statistics from the National Association of Professional Organizers, the AGS Foundation states that “among older adults living independently, about 75% of falls occur at home.  ‘Fall hazards’ in seniors’ homes cause as many as two-thirds of these falls.”  Eliminating hazards completely is the most affective for making seniors more safe while living at home. 

How does this happen?  Put yourself in your parents shoes.  What if you knew changes needed to be made around the house but you did not have the strength or the mental ability to make them happen? 

Condiment container works well for diabetes needs.

Aging in Place is the term used by today’s elder service providers to make assessments in homes and create more functional and convenient conditions for the resident.  This allows our loved ones to be more independent and keep them in their homes and not need a move to assisted living.

Be pro-active.  Ask your parents if they have thoughts of what changes might be best for them.  Place the decision to make a change with them.  And the best tip of all, don’t wait until health issues are severe or they are not themselves.  Begin with small steps to help them clear clutter around the home. 
Set up convenient stations for medicines, check to see if extension or phone cords are where a parent might trip. Help to set up lists to help remember when medicines are to be taken and doctor visits occur. 

Consider bring in a professional organizer that specializes in the elder population to help.  It is often easier to have a third-party involved than a son or daughter helping mom or dad.  Today’s organizers work with compassion and know when to comfort while working to meet a goal. 

When thinking about the legacy we are leaving, a cluttered home is usually not meant to be part of the inheritance left behind.  And most of our parents feel the same way, they are just unsure of how to proceed.

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