Working with Seniors: Insights and Resources with Diane Judd
The challenges of aging provide unique opportunities for professional organizers to work with seniors and their adult children. Close to 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day. By 2030, the older population will be 20% of the total U.S. population. Nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 care for their parents as they themselves are aging and needing to plan and save for their own retirement. These statistics and their ramifications are sobering, especially when no advance planning has been done. Should discussion of and attention to late life and end-of-life issues be avoided, adult children or executors are left to make decisions on their own.
Often seniors are frustrated by the unfinished business they cannot resolve due to their physical or mental decline. What surrounds one (and one’s family) at the end of life can be as much situational disorganization due to illness, aging, and stressful changes as it is to chronic disorganization. Professional organizers may be called upon to assist clients who seek help directly, or by a family member who is grappling with aspects of caring for the ailing or aging disorganized individual.
Books and other resources on what to anticipate in late life and to prepare for end of life will be discussed with the following objectives:
- Effective communications
- Understanding the need for legacy
- Identification of vital documents
- Physical and medical aspects of aging
- Knowing when to involve other professionals and who they are
- Continuing education and marketing opportunities for the professional organizer
Diane Judd was an executive assistant to CEOs in several San Francisco Bay Area publicly traded and privately held companies before turning her experience with breast cancer 16 years ago into a professional organizing business assisting the critically ill, seniors, and their family caregivers in getting vital documents and final affairs in order. The two years she spent as a trained hospice patient care volunteer expanded her understanding of how people die, and gave her unique insights into how differently individuals and families prepare for end-of-life matters.
Diane is Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization (CPO-CD®). She is currently serving a two-year term as Corporate Secretary on the Board of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. She is a member of NAPO’s Golden Circle and a former member of its “Working with Seniors” Special Interest Group. She holds Level II Specialist Certificates in ADD/ADHD, Aging, Chronic Disorganization, and Hoarding from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). In 2012 Diane chaired the ICD Level II Aging Specialist Task Force that developed the inaugural required reading book list, exam questions, and one-hour recorded study session for the Aging Specialist certificate. Her audiences for presentations on aging issues and working with seniors have included an ICD teleclass, the NAPO-San Francisco Bay Area 2012 regional conference, Golden Circle, NAPO-SFBA New Member SIG, NAPO Working with Seniors SIG, and the Sonoma County chapter of the Professional Fiduciary Association of California in addition to numerous community and allied professional groups.