July 29, 2010

Protecting Family Heirlooms

1-800-Pack-Rat - May Moving Madness


Planning for the most Senior PACK-RATs...
Are you part of the sandwich generation?
July is "Sandwich Generation" month. Those who are responsible for the care of both a child and a senior relative are known as the "sandwich generation", and it makes up more of the population than you may know. According to the Pew Research Center, 1 in every 8 Americans (usually women) aged 35 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent. 

Are you part of that sandwich? What does it mean to your family and how does it impact those big life events, like selling your home, transferring jobs or moving? 

Well, you may be asked to move a senior relative from a personal home into a retirement community, prepare a space in your own home or simply to store their precious memories. It can be a stressful time, so we've gathered a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Encourage communication among all generations of your family and put aside time for both sharing and listening. 
  • Hold regular family meetings to go over tasks and responsibilities. Sharing the load creates tighter family bonds.
  • If you are the primary caregiver, take care of yourself. Running yourself down only makes matters worse. Put time aside to do what you love.
  • Cherish special times together because they may not come again.
Despite some of the challenges, your kids can learn a lot from your senior relatives, and the seniors can feel vibrant and useful around your youngsters. 
Moving your seniors with care.

From the PackRat...
Moving with Seniors
Last week we focused on how to ease the moving experience with the youngest in your family. This week, we offer some helpful tips to make the experience easier for the more senior in your family. Whether you are moving your loved one into your home or into a retirement home, consider these tips: 
  • Always be kind. Realize that what's important to them might not be as important to you, and the day is about them and their needs.
  • Be careful with their precious memories. It's likely that you won't be able to put everything into their new space, so you'll need to pack and store some of their most valuable items. 
  • Make them a part of the experience. Seniors are not helpless and need to feel useful. Ask them to sort small items first, like a drawer or a small box.
  • Take a photo of the space they are in now so they can keep that memory. 
  • Take a photo of the new space and discuss the new layout, where they would like things to go and how it will be different than their current space.
Putting your senior at ease will ensure a smoother transition. Always consider their feelings during the moving process.  We at 1-800-PACK-RAT have senior loved ones, too, and are here to help.
July 30, 2010
The 1-800-PACK-RAT

Have you used 1-800-PACK-RAT recently? Have a blog?  Post your experiences - we want to hear from you.  Send us a link, and we'll send out gift cards to our favorite respondents.

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Message From
President & CEO, Bob Poirier
Whether you move across town or across the country, there are a lot of people to notify. But, who is really on a "need to know" basis? You might be surprised at some of the more overlooked organizations and professionals who would like your new address (even if you're moving away from their area):

- Alumni associations
- Cell phone providers
- Civic clubs (can recommend new clubs and facilitate transfers)
- Retirement plan holders
- Current schools, dentists, physicians (to forward records and make referrals)
- Credit bureaus
- Pharmacists
- Insurance providers
- Accountant or paralegals
- Neighborhood memberships (like pool or tennis)
- House of worship (many like to update their rolls)
- Child care or babysitters (they might need a reference)

Remember, when you move from a long-time residence, you leave behind a network of not only friends and colleagues, but of service providers, too. You may need records or a referral to a new provider, and they might need a reference down the road. It's a good practice to ensure that you can be reached.

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