Archive for the ‘Relocation’ Category

Some Times I Wonder!

There are times when I really have to stop, think, and rethink what I am about to say.   I really wonder at times what people think about when they hand out advice, and get paid to do it.

Case in point is an 85 year old woman who just moved into a very nice, but expensive, retirement community.   I was called in to do a complete unpack and set up in the new apartment.   However when I arrived the morning after the move I walked into to a wall of boxes and furniture, and the woman I came to help was so confused and disoriented it was sad.

The community where she moved to employs a ‘move in coordinator’, who visited my client prior to the moving.   The purpose of the visit was to make sure that the items that were being moved would fit into her new apartment.  My client was moving from approximately 2000 sq ft to about 1400 sq ft.   Six hundred square feet makes a big difference.  However my client was told she could bring everything, and she did!

The bigger pieces of furniture fit, and were placed in the new apartment according to the floor plan produced by the move in coordinator.  What wasn’t taken into consideration and should have been were the closet and storage spaces between the old and the new apartment and no downsizing and decluttering took place prior to moving.  As a result, when the movers were told to pack everything, they did.

After 4 days of working to find appropriate ‘homes’ for all the items it was necessary to sit down and really have a focused (as much as possible) heart to heart discussion with my client.  I explained that there just was no more room for my team to put anything else.   There were still several cartons of ‘stuff’ that we needed to decide where to put them.     Eventually, with my client sitting on a folding chair in the storage room area, we pulled out several cartons that she had absolutely no idea what was in them.  They were old greeting cards, letter, etc., that had not been unpacked from a previous move years ago.

I cannot understand how someone could tell my client that she could bring everything and it would fit.  Of course my client relied on this advice.   I only wish that I could have been with the client on both ends of the move.   Because decluttering and downsizing prior to the move, would have saved time and money, because time is money.    But it also would have saved unnecessary stress and aggravation for the client.

My advice to Retirement Community move in coordinators, think about what you are telling your future residents about what they should and should not bring, and offer to find them some assistance.   This will be less frustrating on everyone involved in the move, from the mover, the family, and most importantly your new resident.

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Do Cats Imitate Us or Do We Imitate Cats?

My rescue cat, Lilac, is pretty set in her ways.   Her daily routine is the same every day, as far as I can tell.  Every morning, she is waiting for me to give her breakfast, and then she follows the sun and lounges in every sunny spot.   By late morning she is lounging on the back of the love seat pretending to nap, but with one eye open looking to see that no unwelcome visitors venture into her domain.   Early afternoon finds her really napping in the loft.

I would say Lilac is in her comfort zone, and when things in the zone change, Lilac is not very happy and she lets us know about it in no uncertain terms.   She becomes cranky and upset, she lashes out at whoever happens to be available, and it takes some time for her to come to terms with a change.   This behavior certainly mimic’s how people react when something changes in their lives.  So the question that I have been pondering is:   Do cats imitate us or do we imitate cats?

Everyone has their routines and comfort zones, and they are usually similar to the beings they live, work, or hang out with on a regular basis.   When something or someone disrupts the routine or pace of life that has been constant for so long and change occurs, the entire environment and atmosphere around us becomes disoriented and confused.    This happens throughout our lives and usually we can quickly adjust and accept life changes within a reasonable length of time and with minimal attitude.

However, the older we get the harder it is to cope and accept changes in our life.  I have had this conversation with family members of clients, and they have told me that their parent is acting strange, not like their usual calm, compliant self.  The parent is upset, angry, emotional, and just plain old nasty.  They do not understand why, because the changes they are proposing or making are meant to make the parent’s life easier and happier.   Yet their parent is acting out, just like a teenager!

So to get back to my questions of who is imitating whom, I believe the answer is a little bit of both!   It seems like it is a natural instinct to resist change in our lives.  We all resist and try to make changes to the change; it is natural whether we are infants or senior citizen.  Even Lilac, my cat, finds way to work within the changed environment to make the change acceptable to her.  Lilac doesn’t like a cover on the love seat so she works and works at pulling and punching a portion of the throw off until she has sufficient space for her nap!   My cat uses a passive aggressive attitude toward change, hoping that we will give in.

Once we can accept that changes are difficult for everyone, we can begin to understand and try to overcome the attitudes and passive aggressive behaviors while working to convince and accommodate everyone involved with the change.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.” ~Author Unknown

LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP!

Are you or someone you know . . .?

  • Preparing to enter the spring real estate market?
  • Overwhelmed with all that needs to be done to get ready?
  • Has limited time or energy to do everything?
  • That needs help on where to begin, who to call, or how much time this process will take?

If you do, I can help!

During February, I have an extra day to help you!
Schedule your complimentary Strategy Session
to review your plans, objectives, and goals; and I will answer
your Where, Who, and How questions, on beginning
 to downsize and preparing for the move.

CALL TODAY, 508-285-4802, to schedule your
 LEAP YEAR strategy session, and receive:

  • A written summary of primary action areas and dates to meet to complete project on time.
    AND HAVE:
  • An Opportunity to save $75.00 or more* on a WITTZ END service package IF booked during your Strategy Session!                

 

*Save $75.00 or more on a WITTZ END service package (depending on package size), when booked during your  strategy session.  Everyone receives the written summary just for booking strategy session.

 

Save 12 In 2012

What's In Your Attic?

Attention Baby Boomers and Adult Children of seniors in Massachusetts and Rhode Island!
Are you facing the task of decluttering, downsizing, and clearing out your home or your parents home in 2012?   If so, WITTZ END has a January 2012 SPECIAL to help you with this project.

SAVE 12% when you purchase, in full, ANY WITTZ END service plan, by January 31, 2012 and you have until June 30, 2012 to use the services (additional fees may apply, call for details).

For further details email; claire@atwittzend.com or call 508-285-4802.

Now That The Funeral Is Over, Now What?

The funeral is over and finally the last person has left the house, the last of the food  stored in the refrigerator, and everyone sits down around the dining room table and looked at each other and said, “Now what?”

For the past several days, actually several months, this family the moment on the moment and that was just dealing with todays problems, situations, and concerns.  With the death of their parent their primary focus then shifted to just getting through the funeral.

This family has several Now What questions to deal with immediately, because there is a surviving parent that has some concerns and issues that need consideration.  So before all the family members start to scatter back to their ‘normal’ life; work, family, soccer games, PTA, etc., it is time to focus on the ‘Now What?’ questions.

Everyone needs some down time, particularly after what they have dealt with, but first question and most pressing one now is:  Can Mom (or Dad) stay in the family home alone, or would it be better for her to go home with someone?  Once decided then you can move on from their.   Whether Mom stays at home or temporarily goes with one of the children the rest of the Now What’s will wait for another day.

Next Chapter

Two years ago I helped a family move their Mom from the family home out-of-state, to a very lovely Assisted Living.   They wanted to have their Mother living closer to them because health issues were causing more and more of a problems.   Mom and I hit it off great, and we had several nice moments during our time together.

Fast forward to two years, and I received a call from the same family and things are not going well.   Mom is having increasing amounts of issues and they are having to move her again, to a completely new and different environment.

I am happy that they thought of me to help them begin this next chapter in their Mother’s life.   I am sad that in just two years she declined so much, but I know that I am helping the family cope with the stress as they move into what could be the last chapter.

Quiet Progress

I met with a client the other day, she felt like she would never be ready to move by the end of the month.   Then she started telling me what she had all ready started and finished.   It was huge!

This small petite woman, realized that she needed to start doing something to make this move happen.   In her own quiet way, she allocated a few hours throughout the day to sort through dresser drawers.   Throwing out items too worn and unserviceable, collecting all good and usable items for donation, and neatly putting the keepers back in the drawer.   That is huge, and I told her so!

She did the same type of thing in the kitchen and bathrooms.  So when it came down to really getting serious about downsizing for the move, she have very quietly made progress toward her goal.

It is amazing what progress you can make with just an hour or two a day!   Try it, you will be very pleased with your results.

Almost There!

When you are preparing to start a major project, like downsizing and decluttering, it takes planning and preparations before you start.   You gather all the appropriate
tools, materials, and you line up all the labor and manpower that we might  possibly need.   But even though we think we have thought and planned for all the       ontingencies something usually happens that stalls us, and we need to call for back up.

Like the time when I was on vacation in Costa Rica, and I went zip lining over the Canopy of the Rain Forrest.   I thought this was no problem, I can do  this.   I am not afraid of heights and I am safely strapped in a safety harness what could go wrong?   I was given all the necessary instructions, the do’s and don’ts, and off I went climbing up a mountain path to the first platform.

I was safely in the middle of the pack, so I could observe what was happening and how others were doing.   Everyone was having a great time.  Then my turn came.   I cabled up, and the guides had me back up on the platform to get a running start, and gave me a gentle push off the edge of the platform.   Off I went hanging on for my life!

I cannot remember what the scenery looked like all I can remember was
looking off in the distance for the landing platform.   Then it happened, I stopped!   Within several yards from the platform, and it might as well have been 10 miles.
What was I going to do?   Well, the instruction we were given was lean back and grab the overhead cable and pull yourself, hand over hand, to the landing platform.
Okay, I started that and wasn’t getting any place fast and then panic set in.   Now what!

This is when it is a good idea to have backup.   Julio, one of the guides, came to the
rescue.   Out he came hooked up with me and proceeded to haul me into the landing platform that was wrapped around a huge tree.   I hugged Julio and then the tree.  Then I realized that I had 6 other lines I needed to do before I reached the end of the course.

Getting started was the hardest and as I progressed through the course I relaxed, built my confidence, and started to enjoy myself.   I have always been grateful for the backup.  Without Julio and my panic state, I would have just floundered over the Rain Forrest, eventually I would be pulled myself into the landing platform, but it would not have been easy or very pretty.   That is why, even with the best plan, materials, and equipment you need backups for the “just in case” something happens.

Are You Ready To Move To A Smaller Home?

  Yeah, my new e-booklet is ready!  ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO A SMALLER HOME? is just the first of a series of e-booklets. My friend,Fran Fahey of Fran’s Fine Editing my favorite and only copy editor, worked on the booklet and turned it around in “jig” time.

ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO A SMALLER HOME? is for families with seniors or baby boomers who might be starting to think about downsizing or may have some doubts and concerns if they are ready.  If they are not sure what to  do, there is a quiz and seven helpful tips to get them thinking and started with the process. It is also a great tool and resource for all sales and marketing people in Assisted Living or Home Health Care.

I would like to send you a complimentary copy of this e-booklet for your review and information.   PIease email me at; Claire@AtWittzEnd.com and I will forward the link to you.  If you would like to purchase a print version, which can be customized; i.e.: “Compliments of: XYZ Assisted Living ” please let me know and will forward pricing information.

Is It Time To Hold or Fold?

Just like playing cards, there are times in your life when you need to either hold on or fold when deciding to ‘age in place’ or downsize and move.   Making these decisions are often difficult and can cause people, particular older or elderly people, stress and anxiety.   There are reasons on post sides of the pro and con list to either hold or fold.

One way to decide is to find the pain.  Are you:

  • Overwhelmed doing your everyday tasks?
  • Are you tired going up and down the stairs several times a day?
  • Have you fallen and hurt yourself?
  • Do you need help taking care of personal and household needs?

These and other issues are things older people are dealing with.

Some or all of these situations can handled to allow the family member to stay in the family home with a few changes.  Such as:

  1. Make one of the downstairs rooms into a bedroom.
  2. Renovate or modify the downstairs bathroom.
  3. Hire a homemaker, aide, or a companion to help with routine non-medical household and personal tasks.

However these or other solutions may not take care of the situation or the cost and management of the services may far exceed the peace of mind of moving a loved one to a safe and smaller home situation.   One where they will received the amenities and services they need now.

There is not right or wrong answers, only whatever is correct for the person and their family.   Whether you are holding or folding, be sure to research and educate yourself to make sound and thoughtful decisions.

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