Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 16 April 2010 00:00
For many senior citizens, selling the house and moving to an assisted living facility can be a good choice; however, it can be a lot of work. In addition to getting the property ready for the market and all of the smaller tasks that effort entails, there is often a vast quantity of possessions to be inventoried, all of which present their own questions: what should be packed, given away, donated to charity, sold at auction, or just plain thrown out? Furthermore, even the most well-meaning family members may not have the time or patience available to help their parents and grandparents though every step of a difficult move. Fortunately, Rosemarie Davidson's Caring Transitions aims to be the next-best thing; the new Old Bethpage branch of the Caring Transitions franchise aims to provide a variety of services to senior citizens with an unusually sensitive, personal touch.
Like many good ideas, owner Rosemarie Davidson came up with the idea for her business as a result of her own personal experience. While helping her grandmother go through a major move (and later, her in-laws) she realized just how many individual tasks were involved in the process, and how frustrating it was to have to deal with them all simultaneously. "I said, 'There should be a business that combines all of these services’," remembers Davidson. It was this observation that led Davidson to start a business that combined the strictly practical- for example, dealing with realtors and house painters- with more unusual, but emotionally significant services. A typical thing that Caring Transitions might do for a client is set up their new room as a mirror-image of their old one, so that their comfortable routine will be disturbed as little as possible.
A large part of the business is of course handling possessions, another area where Davidson tries to create a more pleasant experience for her clients. Estate sales can generate a surprising amount of money, but watching strangers stomp through the house and rifle through one's things can be unnerving; Davidson puts a high value on maintaining a respectful atmosphere at the sales to save seniors from having to experience any of the upsetting feelings that a careless treatment of their possessions might provoke. However, even possessions that are staying in the family can be the cause of stress; if family members all have different opinions on what to do with a prized antique vase, it can be a difficult situation to resolve. Caring Transitions can step in to arbitrate as a party that is not only neutral, but knows a thing or two about antiques.
Services are offered 'a la carte'; families can pick and choose exactly what they need. Some clients may need little more than a competently-run estate sale, while others may need full support throughout the moving process. Furthermore, different types of clients approach the company in different ways. Some families solicit the help of Caring Transition on behalf of parents and grandparents who are unable to handle the moving process, while some seniors who are perfectly capable of managing themselves approach the company directly, just to get a little help in the areas that matter. In fact, anyone going through a major move is welcome to approach the business, since many of the services provided are relevant regardless of age. Still, Caring Transitions is focused on the needs of senior citizens in particular.
"I love senior citizens; I love their knowledge," said Davidson, adding that many of her clients are in need of a good listener, and she's happy to oblige. Caring Transitions does free consultations; for more information, call 586-6567, or visit www.caringtransitions.net/plainviewny.