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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Bell

What Keeps You Awake at Night?

As many of you know, I am an avid networker.  Not only does that offer the opportunity to market myself and the services of Moving Seniors with a Smile Inc., I regularly seek out opportunities to learn from other savvy and knowledgeable business people.  I recently attended one such event where blog writing was the featured topic.  The guest writer wisely suggested that each of us focus on the concerns that keep our clients awake at night. That made great sense to me so I asked them.  Not all of them of course, but a few clients who I believe are representative. 

My clients are usually older adults who have made the decision to move from their house or condo into smaller space.  I also assist their family members who want to help their parent(s) in the best way possible.

Essentially both generations worry about many of the same things.  Are they doing the right thing?  Is this the right time? Will they be OK financially? There is so much to deal with – where will they start? Will they like their new home?  Will they be able to get reliable, trustworthy movers?

Sometimes people stay awake at night agonizing about where their kids will stay when they come to visit.  One of my clients shared that she had been afraid that her hutch was too tall for her new condo and, while her son and daughter tried to reassure her that it would definitely fit, she didn’t fully believe them because she knew how desperately they wanted her out of her house with its steep stairs. 

Anxieties like these can ruminate and become paralyzing.  Instead of continuing to move forward with the plan to move, it can be tempting to just put things off.  . .  After all, so far, nothing big has happened …

Caring sons and daughters often worry about the same things, but factored in are genuine fears for their parent(s)’ safety.  Falls are always high on the list of worries but concerns about inadvertent fires or floods also make the list.  Nutritional health also came up with concerns that that their aging parent(s)’ are regularly eating fresh and safely prepared meals.

A few of the sons and daughters expressed concerns about their parent(s)’ dwindling social and intellectual stimulation.  As mobility challenges take their toll over the icy winter months, the TV can increasingly become the primary window to the outside world.  That thought can be anxiety producing all on its own…

I also asked my clients why they chose to work with a Senior Move Manager.  I didn’t go into why they chose me specifically in order to keep the responses generic.

Decades of accumulation can overwhelm everyone in the family.  People typically consider the larger furniture pieces but they don’t give too much thought to the cupboards and drawers that are brimming with items that no one has seen in years…

Both generations also expressed concerns about offending each other.  One of my recent clients has four children, three of whom have spouses or partners and all of whom were willing to help her on weekends.  Everyone seemed to be coming from quite different perspectives but some were more vocal, shall we say, than others.  The other siblings genuinely didn’t want to make waves and my client didn’t want to appear to be taking sides.  She shared that having someone who objectively helped her to make her own decisions was invaluable. 

An adult son of another client shared that he knew that he didn’t have the patience to deal with ongoing trips down Memory Lane with his parents.  He knew that the kindest thing that he could do was to remove himself from the “hands on” part of the equation.  Instead of letting himself be drawn into ongoing disputes with his Dad, he could spend some positive time with both of his parents.  While he admittedly did not share their values, he understood that they should ultimately have the right to choose what worked for them.

Another busy and career focused family member shared that she didn’t feel confident with the current world of movers, packers, donations, on-line auctions, shredding and junk removal suppliers.  She said that she just didn’t have time to research reliable service providers but was grateful that I could do that for her.

Each person and situation is different and I have to confess, I love that.  Helping older adults and their families to successfully navigate their specific move management needs allows everyone involved to sleep just a little more soundly at night!

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