December 3, 2013

We Needed to Downsize our Home

My husband Charlie and I were like most 40 something couples with busy lives, corporate careers, kids and aging parents.  We were being pulled in different directions.  But, like all our friends, we were just dealing with the challenges of life.  Then, something occurred that we had not anticipated.  Both my parents had life-altering medical disabilities that forced us into helping them transition to a new lifestyle very quickly.  We needed to downsize their home, find medical assistance, help them organize their affairs and get things in order as hastily and efficiently as possible.  I kept thinking if only we had someone to help my siblings and us with this challenging situation.

Unfortunately, we had to hurry through each phase of the process.  I took the lead to find them a new place to live (which in itself is mind-boggling to anyone).  I also worked with my siblings to organize and conduct an estate sale, donate unwanted treasures to organizations near and dear to our parent’s hearts, and dispose of the remaining items so we could select an agent to sell their home of 30+ years.In hindsight, the event was stressful, confusing and most importantly, we missed the opportunity to enjoy time with our parents to hear the stories as we unraveled the veil of their lives.  As my family and I replayed the scenario several more times with other relatives, I passionately felt the desire to help seniors mediate this very difficult time in their lives.  The initial experience with my family members allowed me to observe the challenges of downsizing and also gave me the confidence to understand the need to treat them with empathy and respect.

At Smooth Transitions of St. Louis, our clients have many common denominators: the need to downsize, the need to simplify their lives and the paralyzing fear of getting started.  But most importantly, each senior is unique and must receive a customized transitional plan.  More often than not, the realization of this unique project intimidates the seniors, children and other family members.  This is where Smooth Transitions of St. Louis provides an affordable solution.

At Smooth Transitions, we strive to listen to their memories as we guide them through the downsizing process. We implement the family’s instructions to disburse the material possessions to create a new, more manageable living environment that feels “just like home”.  We treat each client as if we are their “surrogate” daughter, without the emotional and traumatic ramifications that accompany family relations.

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