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2500 Horseshoe Drive
Highland, MI 48359
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9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(248) 889-3559

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Helping the Elderly With Good Family Support

Problem:

Mrs. K., 91, had downsized twice already in her life, and was convinced that she needed to move at this time to an assisted living community where she could have help with all of her meals, bathing, and medications; as well as some dressing and grooming tasks. She had two devoted daughters with full and busy lives and did not want to bother them for daily personal assistance more than was necessary. Mrs. K. had macular degeneration, decreased hearing, heart and circulation problems, and used an electric cart for mobility, which she operated with a joystick. She was mentally sharp, able to make her own decisions, and enjoyed socializing and being nicely groomed daily. She was on a waiting list at the assisted living community of her choice, and when a room became available, she had only about two weeks to get organized and complete the move to a space about half the size of her present senior independent living apartment. Her daughter contacted Moving Forward for assistance in making the move as smooth as possible, completing closet re-design for more storage prior to the move, and for helping with downsizing decisions.

Solution:

The owner of Moving Forward met with both Mrs. K. and her daughter to discuss options and give tips during the initial free consultation. This included viewing the new apartment and discussing furniture arrangement that had been previously thought through by the daughter. Measurements were taken of the closets as well as the windows since Mrs. K. had some draperies that could be re-fit and installed.

The daughter was given a tip sheet listing things to be aware of when moving a parent that can help ease the psychological pain of "letting go" of treasured pieces of furniture and special items collected over a lifetime. Although purchase of items through a referral source was discussed, Moving Forward recommended that the family pitch in if possible and store or use the items according to the parent's wishes. After discussion with the extended family, that is what was done. The family decided to hire Moving Forward to help with packing Mrs. K.'s fine china, lamp shades, electronic items, and some miscellaneous items. The daughter provided some of her own boxes and much of her own packing work. She also spent quality time with her mother helping her sort through items, determining what would fit in the new space, what items were most important to her mom, and which relatives would enjoy having the others.

Moving Forward contracted with a licensed builder to install closet shelving and rods that provided optimal use of space as well as allowing Mrs. K. to reach items easier. We recommended a moving company that we know works well with seniors. Large furniture items that were not going to the assisted care community were dropped off at the second daughter's home on moving day. Moving Forward personnel arrived at the end of the unpacking session to clear away boxes and packing materials and check on the family to see that things had gone smoothly, and assist in any way possible. Because the family was able to provide so much help, they kept their costs to a minimum. Mrs. K. was able to fit right into her new life with emotions intact, a smooth transition, and loving support from a family who was not burdened beyond their abilities.

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