When Families Live Far Away

A large portion of our clients come to us because their adult children live out of the Charlotte metro area and need our help coordinating a move for their parents. Many a move begins with a sad or difficult change—for instance, death of a spouse or a sudden health event. Many adult children living far away are working and don’t have the time to devote to managing the logistics and all the details that need to be handled. And overseeing a move on top of dealing with a recent change in routine is more than their parent can do. So, they call us.

“I couldn’t have done this without the compassionate and experienced team at Transition With Care. They were lifesavers, and they still stay in touch with my mom!” — Bert, adult son living 1,200 miles away

Do you live far away and have a loved one who needs to move?
Give us a call at 704-945-7108.

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Moving after widowhood

Mary lived in Charlotte, but her only child, Bert, lived in the Midwest. Her husband had recently died and she wanted to downsize and move to a retirement community. Bert was married, with children and a full-time job. Living so far away, it was more than he could do to pack up his mother’s belongings, move her, and get her settled in the independent living community she had chosen.

Moving was hard for Mary. It was emotionally difficult to sort through items and say goodbye to treasures she and her husband had collected together. It helped that she and her son, Bert, had chosen an independent living community where some of her friends lived. She really liked the location and she liked the apartment she chose.

The custom floor plan
After taking measurements of her furniture and at her new apartment, we created a scaled floor plan to show Mary exactly where her furniture would go. It became clear that not everything was going to fit, which encouraged Mary to select the items she knew she really wanted in her new space. We emailed the floor plan to Bert so he was able to be involved and give feedback.

Downsizing help
Our team understands how difficult downsizing can be. They helped Mary choose items from her home that were practical and would work well in her new apartment. After we nailed down the floor plan and labeled everything that was moving with her, we advised her on what could potentially be sold, donated to charity, or thrown away. As we worked through this process, it gave Mary an opportunity to share memories and stories, which helped her let go and feel better about moving on without her husband.

All according to Mary’s wishes, we shipped to Bert and other relatives the belongings that had sentimental value within the family. We arranged for an auction house to sell the valuable pieces. The rest we donated to several different charities. We provided her with the donation receipts, which she could use for a tax deduction.

Packing and moving
We didn’t want her to be overwhelmed with our presence, so we scheduled shorter packing sessions over a two-day period. Mary was comforted by the special care we took in handling her remaining possessions, relieving her of a big worry she had when thinking about the move. In this case, it was her teapot collection (downsized from twenty-three teapots to six cherished favorites).

Moving day
The movers arrived on time. Our move manager, Heather, was there to greet them and show the crew exactly what needed to be loaded on the truck. Bert had flown in to be on hand for moving day and took Mary out to lunch and for an afternoon of shopping while Heather remained at the house to oversee the moving process.

After the movers were finished loading, Heather locked up the house and followed the movers to the retirement community. She met the rest of our team there and oversaw the unloading and proper placement of the furniture. The remaining team members, like little elves, busily unpacked and put everything away in an organized and decorative fashion.

When everything was ready, Heather called Bert and asked him to bring Mary to the community. When Mary walked in the door and saw her bed made, her furniture in place, her pictures hung, the kitchen and closets organized, she smiled and said, “It feels like home­­—look, there’s my teapot collection.” All in a day’s work.

In the meantime, the team was back at the old house, taking care of the items that needed disbursal elsewhere.

Bert was able to return home the next day, knowing his mom was well situated. With all the logistics taken care of, Mary was not burdened with the physical and mental fatigue of unpacking and deciding where things went. She was able to ease immediately into her new life. In fact, she accepted a lunch invitation from her friend the very next day!

Home cleanout
We had referred Mary and Bert to a local realtor who was a senior real estate specialist. They had experience working with families in similar situations and could navigate the nuances associated with selling a family home. Once we knew Mary was settled, we were able to quickly disburse belongings according to Mary’s and the family’s wishes. Then our cleaning services stepped in so the realtor was able to stage and list the house within a matter of days. Again, Bert did not need to come east for the sale. We managed everything for Mary and kept Bert informed all along the way.

Would you like your parent’s move to be this stress free (for both of you)?
Give us a call at 704-945-7108.

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Moving after a fall

Susan was in her seventies and was enjoying life on her own. She lived in a two-story condo and enjoyed her book club and her church activities. Her daughter, Marsha, lived in Asheville, where she worked and was raising two kids on her own. She drove down to visit as often as she could.

One evening Susan fell when going down the stairs from her bedroom. It was a bad fall. She broke her hip. Luckily, she held onto her phone and was able to call a neighbor, who came right over. An ambulance was called and so was her daughter. Susan underwent hip surgery and then went to rehab, where she stayed for several weeks to regain strength and mobility.

It became apparent that Susan was not going to be able to return home because of the stairs. Susan sadly agreed that it was time to move to a retirement community where help would be readily accessible and she could live in a single-floor apartment. There was a community close to her church and she had a few friends who lived there.

Susan had to spend several weeks in rehab, so Marsha met us at her mother’s home to give us an idea of items that were meaningful to her mother. We knew the community well and got the floor plan for Susan’s new apartment. We visited with Susan at the rehab and talked about what she wanted to keep and what to leave behind. She had many family heirlooms, including quilts and needlepoint pillows her grandmother had made. These items were very important to her.

We created a custom-scaled floor plan for Susan so she could feel more in control of the move and begin to imagine herself living at the community amongst her treasures. Our senior move managers are committed to helping clients feel at home in their new surroundings so they have an easier time adjusting emotionally to this change.

As the time drew near for Susan to be discharged, we met Marsha at Susan’s condo so we could carefully pack all the items Susan wanted. Marsha set aside those things she wanted, and later held a garage sale for the remaining items. As part of our home cleanout service, we disposed of everything else so Marsha could work with the realtor to get the condo quickly on the market.

On discharge day, Marsha picked up her mom and went with her to her new apartment at the community. We had moved everything over the day before, so everything was set up just the way we discussed during the floor plan process. Although leaving her condo was difficult, seeing all of her favorite possessions, especially the quilt from her grandmother on her bed, Susan felt a sense of comfort and familiarity and smiled as she looked around. Marsha was able to leave that evening, confident that her mom was going to do well in this new situation.

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Clearing an estate after a death

Sally called us for help. Her mother, Paula, had passed away at age ninety-six at her apartment in her continuing care retirement community (CCRC).

Sally lived in Virginia and worked in the State Department. Her brother, Mark, lived in San Diego, California, and was a professor. They had only a few days together in Charlotte to get things taken care of. Along with planning the service for their mother, they also needed to arrange to remove her belongings from the apartment. It was a lot to manage at once. However, they knew if they could get the apartment cleaned out by the end of the month (ten days away), they could avoid paying another month of rent.

Thankfully, Sally’s mom had been proactive about making sure the family knew who was to receive what when the time came. Everyone understood what was to be theirs and what was to be sold or donated. We were called in to make a photo inventory and listing of the items in the apartment for Sally and Mark to review and tell us where the furniture and items needed to go. We quickly began to tag, sort, and pack belongings that shipped either to Sally or Mark. We also made travel arrangements for Paula’s dog to travel to California to live with Mark, who loved the dog dearly.

Per the family’s wishes, what wasn’t packed and shipped to family was given to a local shelter, recycled, or removed to trash. We handled all the logistics, oversaw the charitable pick-ups, and gave the keys to the marketing department before the end of the month. With our handling the dispersal of the belongings, the family was able to focus on making arrangements for their mother’s service and process the grief of their loss.

Do you need help dispersing your loved one’s belongings quickly and carefully?
Give us a call at 704-945-7108.



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