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The Three Losses in Five Years Syndrome

Over the past 10 years, I have come across a subset of individuals who begin a sudden onset of chronic disorganization. These are individuals who are serving as family caretakers who have experienced at least three significant losses in their life over the span of 5 years. This subset has usually served as primary caretaker for either parent(s), spouse or sibling(s). Many of them also serve as the executor of one or more of these estates. Many of these individuals seem to take about 7 to 12 years after the final loss to come to terms with this in their life.

What I would like to see is a more active approach to treating this, more on the onset prevention than as an after effect treatment.

It would be beneficial to have physicians and their staffs work to identify caretakers who are already at two losses in five years, and encourage them to get additional support through grief counseling, caretaker support group participation and for those financially able, consider the services of a skilled professional organizer. A skilled professional organizer can do wonders to help the “primary caretaker client ” in terms of time management, goal setting, project planning and management. Many professional organizers can help establish bill paying and document management systems to handle the growing paperwork that complex and long-term medical conditions usually entail as well as documents for estates probate. A professional organizer can help the client simplify his or her life and environment as well as serve as a body double for difficult and often procrastinated tasks.

While a professional organizers services are not inexpensive, they are a valuable tool that may help the primary caretaker live a more vibrant and fulfilling life while and after experiencing heavy losses in their life.

The Three Losses in 5 Years are primarily death losses. For some, however, one of those losses can be the loss of a pet, divorce or significant job loss.

I believe more research and education is needed in this area. Let’s hope that this syndrome can be more clearly understood and helpful strategies for success developed and promoted to the general public.

 

This is a best of post

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Filed under Caregiving, Client Management Strategies, Communication, Communication Strategies, Knowledge, Organizing, Philosophy, Productivity, Techniques, Terms, Thinking, Time

Backsliding – Reviewing Predictors

This is a best of post – from 2008.

Backsliding, it occurs frequently to us all and especially to our clients. Use this checklist to see if your clients are candidates.

□ Does your client have chronic physical health issues?

□ Has your client mentioned a history of depression or the start of new treatment for a mental health concern?

□ Does your client have a special needs or medically fragile family member?

□ Is your client taking care of, or responsible for elderly parents or aging relatives?

□ Is your client expecting a new child or adding a family member to their household?

□ Is your client having relationship problems or divorcing?

□ Is your client’s financial state a serious concern in hiring a professional organizer?

□ Are your clients in the middle of or planning a remodel or major home improvement project in their home?

□ Has your client just begun to work from home?

□ Has your client or their significant other recently lost a job?

□ Has your client just begun a new job or taken on more responsibility at work?

□ Is your client planning or involved in a major celebration such as a family wedding, big number anniversary or birthday party, or hosting a family reunion?

□ Is your client actively grieving a recent or series of recent family, friend or pet losses?

□ Are you approaching a “traditional” seasonal season – such as summer or entering the November/December holidays?

□ Has your client worked with a professional organizer before?

Most of the previous predictor questions when answered yes, relate to the common reasons for backsliding. When your client answers yes to one of the predictors, it helps to bring this item to the forefront and let the client know they meet the criteria for backsliding and they should not expect fast or instant transformation.

Terry Prince © 2008

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Filed under Caregiving, Client Management Strategies, Communication Strategies, Knowledge, Organizing, Productivity, Terms, Time

Predictors of Backsliding

Backsliding, it occurs frequently to us all and especially to our clients. Use this checklist to see if your clients are candidates.

□ Does your client have chronic physical health issues?

□ Has your client mentioned a history of depression or the start of new treatment for a mental health concern?

□ Does your client have a special needs or medically fragile family member?

□ Is your client taking care of, or responsible for elderly parents or aging relatives?

□ Is your client expecting a new child or adding a family member to their household?

□ Is your client having relationship problems or divorcing?

□ Is your client’s financial state a serious concern in hiring a professional organizer?

□ Are your clients in the middle of or planning a remodel or major home improvement project in their home?

□ Has your client just begun to work from home?

□ Has your client or their significant other recently lost a job?

□ Has your client just begun a new job or taken on more responsibility at work?

□ Is your client planning or involved in a major celebration such as a family wedding, big number anniversary or birthday party, or hosting a family reunion?

□ Is your client actively grieving a recent or series of recent family, friend or pet losses?

□ Are you approaching a “traditional” seasonal season – such as summer or entering the November/December holidays?

□ Has your client worked with a professional organizer before?

Most of the previous predictor questions when answered yes, relate to the common reasons for backsliding. When your client answers yes to one of the predictors, it helps to bring this item to the forefront and let the client know they meet the criteria for backsliding and they should not expect fast or instant transformation.

Terry Prince (c) 2008

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Filed under Caregiving, Client Management Strategies, Organizing, Productivity, Techniques, Terms, Time