Archive for the ‘Concierge Services’ Category

Do you have an accident waiting to happen at your parents house?

Are your parents climbing ladders and step stools because they feel they can do things themselves? Climbing the ladder to clean out the gutters or touching up the paint is something they always did and still feel capable still doing. Years ago that wasn’t a problem; they were a lot younger and much more agile and steady. But things are changing.

How can you stop them from doing this before they have that accident which could put them out of commission permanently?  Whether it is fixing the dripping kitchen faucet, changing a filter or light bulb, putting in the screens, or anything else that needs fixing.  What peace of mind would you have knowing that Dad and Mom are not climbing ladders or step stools, crawling under sinks, or make many trips down the basement stairs which are all possibilities for accidents.

There are plenty of small businesses that can help you help your parents.   Some of them you and set them up on a monthly retainer, and they will stop by your parents home on a regular basis throughout the month and take care of things that need fixing.  You know all the little (and not so little) do it yourself projects that you don’t have time to do for your parents. Arrange to have everything done without anyone in the family climbing a ladder and taking unnecessary risks.

All you need to do is keep a perpetual “honey do” list and once a month, as regular as clock work; this company would come in and do what is on the list. If the job was too big or more involved then they may need to schedule more time, but for the most part routine maintenance and repair projects that Dad or Mom want or need done are finished and scratched off the list.

Consider this type of service as a gift for the entire family!

 

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Next Week, May 8-14th, declared National Senior Move Managers Week – Find Out How I Am Celebrating!

As a Senior Move Manager, I work with older adults making a transition. Most of these older adults have not moved in 30, 40 or 50 years and need to downsize considerably and the organizational and physical tasks associated with planning and implementing a move can be overwhelming. It’s so much more than just a move when I am helping my clients transition to a new home I work to reduce their stress and trauma that they may be experiencing during the transition.

Mary Kay Buysse, Executive Director of NASMM points out, “Family and friends often want to help, but there may be barriers. Adult children may be sandwiched between their parents, their careers and their own family obligations. For family members living far away, the barriers may be geographic. Some seniors have no surviving children, or their children are seniors themselves. If illness or death precipitated the move, the family may already be drained both emotionally and physically. Senior Move Management has emerged to fill the gaps and to make transitions easier for everyone involved.”

Next week, during National Senior Move Managers Week I will be promoting the value of senior move management and senior move managers’ commitment to assisting older adults and their families, not only the actual moving experience, but with the emotional and physical aspects of sorting through and downsizing a lifetime of memories in the move process.   I have five 2 hour blocks of time to meet with a senior or their family to them develop a strategic transition plan.  If you know of someone who would benefit from this session please let me know — first come first serve.  There is absolutely no obligation!

In Her Easter Bonnet

My first client was at one time a very fashionable woman.  She had clothing that would make most women very jealous.  Designer dresses and suits with matching shoes, handbags and  most importantly a hat.  Most of these beautiful clothes had not been in style for at least 30 years.

When it came time to sort through her clothes and decide what she could keep, it was a very traumatic experience for her.  My client, I’ll call her “Ms Daisy”, wanted to keep everything.  Even though she was not able to wear any of the outfits. 

After much discussion and a few tears “Ms Daisy” reluctantly agreed that to donate the clothes, shoes, and handbags.  However, “Ms Daisy” said that she wanted the hats!  Most of them had been beautiful at one time, but their beauty was long gone.  Again after much discussion and a great deal of compromise on both “Ms Daisy” and me. So we packed up one small box of hats that moved with ” Ms Daisy”.
“Ms Daisy” really loved her hats, every time I visited with her she had one of her hats on.  It didn’t matter how bad it might have looked, it made her feel dressed up!  She never stopped admiring hats. One of my last visits with her, I took her to an appointment, and she was all dressed up with her mink pill box hat. 

On our way to her appointment we had a conversation about the hat the Aretha Franklin wore at the 2009 Inauguration.  She loved that hat!  

I believe wearing her hats made her feel physically better than she actually felt.  So compromising a bit and taking a few of her favorite hats made her happy. Ms Daisy felt more in control of her life even though she new she really was not. 

“Ms Daisy”, if she could, would strutting her stuff wearing her best Easter Bonnet!

Organizing Lessons From Ernest and Frank

Frank & Ernest

How many times have we written things down on small scraps of paper and never remember where we put it.  

This is a common complaint as we get older; we have to write things down to remember and then we forget where it is and what we wrote.  How does anyone expect to get organized?

Three tips not to become like Ernest and Frank:

  1. Carry a small note pad and a pen at all time; leave one on the night stand, and  next to all telephones
  2. Only write notes in this note pad; put the date you write the note and put down all important information like: date, time, address and phone number.
  3. When you have time transfer information from note pad to your calendar.

Ernest and Frank’s cartoon is funny but the message is not.  Too many important things are forgotten because we do not take the time to properly write things down in order to remember.

View From Claire’s Window!

The view from my office window  is a beautiful ocean, beach scene.  I havewindow this window compliments of my sister, who gave it to me for Christmas.  My office doesn’t have a window, and I kept saying I needed a window.  I sit there and visually and ideal pleasant day until I leave the office and I see the real world and the white, winter wonderland people living in New England, really up and down the East Coast, have experienced this winter.

 I am sitting in my office looking at the window and thinking about some indoor projects to do when ‘the weather outside if the weather out side is frightful’.  Here are 3 de-cluttering and organizing projects.

  1. Organize Your Books. Pick up all the books lying around the house, pull out all the books on the book shelves, dust the shelves and the books, organize the books, and put them back on the shelves. Any books you do  not want donate them to the Friends of the Library for their next book sale.
  2. Front Hall Closet.  Pull everything out of the closet, examine it, try it on, inspect clothing items to see if it needs repairs or cleaning, donate items that you do not use or does not fit. Only put back in the closet the items that are meant to be there.  Find a home for everything else.
  3. Your Work Desk. Take everything off the top of the desk-everything you do not use either throw out or give away, do not put anything back on the desk top until you finish going through all the drawers. Do 1 drawer at a time, dump the contents on the desk top, go through everything and determine its value – keep or throw out-do this for every drawer.

These projects are things we put off doing but we all need to do them once in a while.  With the weather we have been having these 3 projects will help to pass the time and give you a wonderful sense of accomplishment when you cannot or should not venture outdoors in the snow and on the ice.  

Wishing you a warm and safe this winter, as I continue to stare at my ocean scene counting the days until Spring.

Are You Going to Sell Soon?

Last week I attended a local Chamber of Commerce meeting where I met a local real estate agent.  At chamber meetings this is not unusual; however, this gentleman and I seemed to hit it off right from the start.  Maybe it was our age, we are both aging baby boomers, but I believe the reason was we are focusing on the same target market – aging baby boomers–and we believe the same things. 

What we were both saying is; Baby boomers should not wait until the last-minute to start preparing their home to sell and move.  The time to start thinking, preparing, and doing; is 3-5 years from when you want to sell and move.  This is true for your own home or your parent’s home.  The earlier you start thinking about this process the better off everyone will be.

There are so many things that can be done to prepare ahead of time to prepare to sell and move from your longtime home.  Most of us seem to procrastinate and put things off until the last-minute.  We seem to think that there isn’t too much to do, and we are shocked and overwhelmed to find out just how much you should have done in advance, how little time you now have, and how much this is all going to cost you in both time and money.

My realtor friend would tell you that if you plan on selling three years from now you should consider doing some repairs, upgrades, and neutralizing to your home during this time period.  You could very easily recover the cost of the work, and your home will sell easier and quicker. Now I would tell you that it is a good idea to start de-cluttering, downsizing, and organizing the areas of your home that might be over crowded and cluttered.   It is never too early to start this process, and by the time you are ready to sell and move, you will be so far ahead of the game.  

Procrastination is a tough road block to break through.  If everyone said I will take care of this tomorrow nothing would be getting done.  One improvement, upgrade, or repair a year or every six months and one de-clutter/organizing project every quarter will keep you moving forward toward your goal of selling and moving.  Before you know it, it is time to put the house on the market and move.

Unfortunately, most of us wait until the last-minute or until a crisis happens, then we are pushed to take action.  Whether it is illness, death, or just plain old procrastination it makes things far more difficult to get things done when working under pressure and stressed because of a current situation. The old adage of “works well under pressure” isn’t necessarily right. Working under pressure causes mistakes, damage, additional money, and unnecessary stress.

 My Tip is:  Avoid procrastination, work steadily toward the goal, and you will be rewarded for your hard work when you achieve your goal.

Snow Daze!

As a child I really looked forward to having no school because of snow.    However, growing up in an old New England town it really needed to be a huge blizzard before our schools were canceled because of snow.   I cannot tell you how many times I was disappointed to find we were the only town in miles that was going to school on a very snowy day.  

 Even the Boston news media would comment on the fact that our town was the only one having school.  I believe it was a challenge for the towns DPW to plow, salt and sand all the roads because they liked to distinction of having the schools open.   Our town even had a horse-drawn plow for our sidewalks.  Mr. K and his horse would often be photographed plowing all the sidewalks in town.

These days the news media whip up such a frenzy for days before the storm that schools around here were cancelled by 8 o’clock last night, and many businesses and state government agencies were telling their non-essential personnel not to come in.   

Now that I am older snow days are just another day that I am limited on where and when I can leave my house.  The happiness I felt as a child with a Snow Day off, has now changed to a Snow Daze whenever it snows.  I am lucky to live in a condo where I only need to clean off my car.

At 3:30 am this morning I was pleased to see that the plow had been by at least once or twice, and other than having to brush off my car I could have left my driveway.    But I have no intention of leaving my driveway today.   I quickly brushed off the car, and came in for a hot coffee.

It is nice to muse about the “old daze”, going to school in a blizzard, because we could, and having all our sidewalks cleaned by a horse-drawn plow.   I wasn’t happy about it then, but now I feel that we didn’t have it too bad!  At least I have some very fond memories as I look out my office window in a snow daze.

3 Tips To Keep Healthy Food in Freezers For Older Relatives

Have you looked into your freezer and it is full, but you don’t know what is in there?   You end up taking out a package of “mystery” meat thinking it is steak only it is really a pork chop!  In our day-to-day running around trying to get everything done we forget the obvious things — like marking the freezer bags listing the contents and date. 

You do not need to be old to answer yes to this scenario.   Young vibrant people, who have great eyesight and memories do it as well as  more and more to older adults.   However with older adults it can be more serious, because their generation tend not throw things out.   It is a sin to waste perfectly good food!   Just because it has been in the freezer for a undetermined length of time and is badly freezer burned it is still perfectly okay.

This is what many family members and caregivers are finding when they look in freezers (and refrigerators) of their older relatives.   Keeping the freezers filled with good, healthy, and edible food is a problem.
Here are three simple tips, that most of us will say is just common sense.   

  1. Ignore the complaints and go through the freezer (and refrigerator) and throw out all food that is: old and freezer burned; old packages of frozen food products (veggies, ice cream, etc.) old expiration dates; little packages of food items with no indication of content or date.  In refrigerators: do the same thing – if in doubt throw it out!  Once you have these items cleared out and know that there is no harmful food left you can start from scratch.
  2. Slowly replenish the freezer and refrigerator with good fresh meat and frozen food products.  Before freezing, get a permanent marker, sturdy freezer bags, good plastic wrap.   Re-wrap meat in individual servings in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags (you can put multiple pieces of  the meat in the bag); put the label from the store in the bag so you can see the product name; then seal the bag and write the date on the bag or food container. 
  3. When you add meat and food products to the freezer place the new items (prepared the same as described in 2 above) behind the previous items.  In other words; use the FIFO method – FIRST IN FIRST OUT– to rotate the food out of the freezer.  Only have 3 rotations of food in the cycle.

These tips will help your relative or caregiver know what they are taking out for dinner and it is going to be good and healthy for them.

3 Tips For De-cluttering Old Christmas Cards

One of the fastest ways to de-clutter your Christmas supplies is to cull through Christmas cards that you received.   I am not suggesting that you throw out this years cards.   However, you do not need to keep every card you have received during your adult life!  Here is my suggestions. 

  • Take all the envelopes with the return addresses on them and make sure your address book is updated.   Things happen from year to year and you need to keep up with these changes.  Once you have them all updated throw out the envelopes.  
  • Now take the cards and envelopes from last year and throw them out.  Also take any cards from all prior years and throw those out as well!  
  • Take this years cards and put them in a file folder or envelope and pack them away until next year to refresh your memory on who sent you a card.

Now I have to tell you that the idea for this blog came from my sister.   I just hope that she is following her own tip!

EXPANSION OF SERVICE OFFERINGS

WITTZ END is pleased to announce that in addition to our hugely successful Relocation Concierge Services, we are now offering Full Concierge Services!  

Over the past several months we have seen a huge need for this service.   So many working people are so overwhelmed and overburdened with everything that they have going on in their lives it seems that they are just running around chasing the “ball” wherever it might be.   Check out the some of the services WITTZ END can do for you, Full Concierge Services!   Because many have asked for the services we are here to help you any way we can.

Most couples work full-time and if they have children, they are running to drop them at school, daycare, or wherever, rush to work, rush out during lunch to do errands, rush back to pick up kids and then rush home to prepare dinner.   An on the way home they might stop and buy the dinner!   This same scenario could be almost the same with couples or individuals  (no matter their age bracket) only without the daycare component.

Frequently heard comments from working people is; “No time”, “Haven’t had a family meal together in ages.” “I spend all my time running around doing errands.”   This is where WITTZ END comes to the rescue!   WITTZ END’s Full Concierge services will allow you to have your lunch hour to eat your lunch and not run to the drugstore or the dry cleaners.  After picking up the kids you can go home and everything you need to prepare dinner is in the refrigerator!   You won’t be so frazzled and you will be able to spend some fun quality time with the family or your significant other!

WITTZ END can be the answer to many people’s prayers.  Check this out Full Concierge Services you will be glad you did!

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