You can be their beacon.
She called us on a Friday afternoon. Spry and excitable, she was up to her ears in boxes, yet not one item had been placed in any of them. She had gathered some sheets she planned to use to wrap the most fragile items, but due to the limited mobility of her shoulder, she could not pick up the pile that lay at the bottom of the steps and safely navigate it up.
You could hear the defeat in her voice.
As excited as she is to move into a retirement community and start this next chapter in her life, the to-do lists are exhausting.
She is stopped in her tracks by the required physical endurance to sort each item and then pack them properly – the mental preparation needed to determine which items are going to fit where, creating a floor plan to work from, and the emotional toll that uncovering memories and letting go of treasures takes.
Spry or not, it is all too much for anyone to manage alone, especially a senior. There is a reason moving is known as the third most stressful life event. Thankfully, there was a chance referral from a Realtor of the person who purchased her home (thanks, Hope Kolker!), who recognized the exhaustion and need for supportive resources. Yet, far too few professionals working with seniors are aware of the breadth of resources available to seniors in their communities. Fewer yet are the number of seniors and families who are keenly aware of the resources available to them and at what point to reach out to them.
Seniors Moving Smarter was honored to have the opportunity to help our storied client in her time of need. Though all of our teams were already on prescheduled moves, we were still able to spring into action and pull together a suitable plan. Her needs were met, but not before she felt the stress and exhaustion associated with a move – everything we try to protect them from.
Our mission is to not only aide in the transitional time of our senior clients, but also help increase the knowledge seniors and their families have about all resources available to them and encourage all professionals in the senior community to push to do the same. As professionals, we cannot assume or expect that seniors or their families know what resources are out there for them. We cannot presume families are able to, want to or even know how to help their loved one navigate the continuum of their transitional journey. At Seniors Moving Smarter, we recognize that downsizing an entire household and packing up one’s life to move into a fraction of the space is often not a joyous and wonderful endeavor that evolves without incident unless there is proper preparation and assistance.
For the benefit of the seniors we serve and love, I am asking that we, as professionals, educate them. Be a beacon of resources. Have the conversation about supportive services early, not just Seniors Moving Smarter, but any service that is going to help them and make their situations better. Offer to make the referral. Take things off their plates. Their minds are already inundated with everything else they must do, it is in their best interest if no one adds more to it.
We must make their entire experience a priority, not solely the parts that we serve.
We promise to heed our own advice.