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Blog: Organizing for Boomers
It's Mid-January-Time for Reflection

Now that the holidays are over and hopefully, your holiday decorations have been sorted, purged and stored in clear, identifiable containers, let's take a moment for reflection.

So, how did the holidays go? In particular, how are your parents (or older generation members) doing? If you live right in the same neighborhood as they, you are probably well aware of the changes in their behavior or the slowing of their skill set.

However, if you live far away but had a chance to be with them this holiday season, now is the time for some serious thought.

According to the National Institute on Aging, Americans over 85 are the fastest-growing segment of the population. By 2050 this group will swell to 21 million, a huge increase from the 4.2 million in 2000.

As baby boomers, it's comforting to know that we are not alone in trying to treat our parents with dignity as reality slowly creeps in. On the other hand, we're the generation that thought we'd never get older, yet here we are. Maybe we haven't gotten older, (or at least we can still pretend) but our folks sure have.

With medical advances the elderly are often living longer. Yet unlike past generations, many of us do not live in the same town or neighborhoods as our parents.

Questions to reflect on:
1. How was the house of your parents? Did the home you remember seeing last time look untidy, papers out, mail unopened?
2. Were there prescriptions unopened?
3. Were the outfits worn by your parents totally out of sync with the season of the year?
4. How did the food look in the refrigerator? Was it full of expired goods or was it fresh?

If your parent traveled to your home some questions to ask yourself:
1. How was the mobility of your parents from the last time you saw them?
2. Were they able to interact with other family members or were they totally removed from the conversations with no interest in them?
3. Were they able to handle some basic issues without help, such as dressing and bathing?

These are tough questions to ask. Here are some resources to consider when evaluating your parents' living situation:

www.caregiving.org. National Alliance for Caregiving, a nonprofit coalition of national organizations, focusing on issues of family care giving.

www.caregiver.org. Family Caregiver Alliance, a nonprofit group that offers a range of information including an online handbook for long-distance caregivers. Located in the Bay Area.

www.eldercare.gov. This is an eldercare locator, under the U.S.Administration on Aging. It can help adult children to find agencies around the country that are concerned with aging.

www.cfad.org. These initials stand for "caring from a distance". The site is tailored to the long-distance caregiver. Though it originally focused on the state of Washington, the site is expanding.

Check out these websites and start to gather information to help you on this pathway. In the meantime see what tasks you might remove from your parents' list.

Here are some suggestions: meal delivery, grocery shopping, laundry, yardwork, household maintenance, personal care such as dressing and bathing, transportation, financial help in paying bills, making sure medications are handled properly, and social and emotional support.

Until next time-

Making Your Space a Special Place…

the R.E.D. team – Reinventing Everyday Designs

posted on: 1/18/2008 12:30:00 PM by Sue Crum
category: Special Populations

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Organizing for Boomers

by Sue Crum

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About Sue:

Sue Crum knows and understands the life of a Baby Boomer all too well. Having served as the filling of an Oreo cookie for many years, she has reinvented herself in San Diego as the owner of The R.E.D. Team, Reinventing Everyday Designs, doing professional organizing, real estate staging, and interior redesign.

Sue's Website:


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