Brantford Health Lifestyle People

Transitions – Part 2

Written by Ivan Sutton

Seniors in Transition

The stability of physical and mental health is a key concern of man and women as we get older. I remember speaking with a friend in her twenties about preparing for the future and her response was, “I understand when I get to your age,” she said, “I will be more concerned, but I will wait till at least my mid-forties to concern myself with that stuff.”

Along with the stability of our mental and physical being (some would add spiritual to that short list), are the availability of services to assist us where we become deficient or unable to cope on our own.

I met with Patrick, a retired 68 year old active gent in Brantford. He was clear that he would like to remain living in his own place with his partner for the rest of his life. But should something happen to her, then he would have to consider downsizing or moving to assisted living.

Patrick, who is legally blind, believes that stability in physical and mental health requires commitment and that you can help your body and mind by being active. In the summer months he walks on average eight kilometres each day. “The cold really gets to me now, so when it is colder like this, I cut that back to about two kilometres a day. Last September, I walked a total of 208 kilometers in one month.”

To look at Patrick, you see a strong man that functions as a sighted person. He is an excellent cook and is proud to have you sample some of the baked treats that seemed to have been freshly made when I arrived.

Explaining to Patrick that there are many services in the private sector that provide services to seniors, he was visibly surprised. I mentioned that I recently discovered there are companies that help in downsizing or estate sales primarily for seniors and asked him if he was aware of this, he said no.

As I mentioned in the first article, Sell My Stuff Canada offers content and estate sale services and I was happy when Ashleigh Clark and Tracy Foster who own Sell My Stuff Canada locations in Hamilton-Niagara and Kitchener-Guelph decided to speak with me for this article. “In most cases, the senior doesn’t want just the sale of their belongings, or the family in the case of an estate situation, just the sale of their parent(s) belongings, they want someone they trust and someone who understands the tremendous transition that they are going through. It is a matter of trust,” said Ashleigh.

When I also mentioned that there are companies that will coordinate downsizing including moving the senior from one home to the next, he said that he had no idea and was sure not too many other seniors knew either.

“The experience for the senior is,” said Margo from Move Seniors Lovingly, “they wake up on move day, and we look after the entire move and then when they arrive at their new place later that evening, whether a care facility or a residence, everything is put away, pictures are on the wall, books are on the bookshelf and the bed is made. We do our best to take the stress away.” It was clear in her voice that the word “Lovingly” in the company name was deliberate because there is no better word to describe their attention to the senior or their family. “Honor your father and mother,” she added. “This is how we do business.”

Again the question is why don’t people know that these services exist?

Over the past month of research, it has become clearer to me the abundancet of services that seniors and their families can take advantage of today. Some are government options and others are part of a multi-million dollar industry in Canada and over 3 billion dollar industry in the USA.  We will continue to explore these services as I continue to share my awe. Not just because of people like Ashleigh, Margo and Tracy or companies like Move Seniors Lovingly or The Great Estate Sale Company, but we will explore their other services and loot at the many other companies I met or interviewed over the phone whose services would be the desire of even younger couples and individuals.  Next week, we will explore downsizing, freedom from stuff and my phone interview with Lisa from A2B Estates.

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Ivan Sutton

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