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One Friday Morning 04.04.14

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One Friday Morning 03.21.14

Love Later Life ad airing in the UK: Fantastic!
“Aging is not an illness…”

One Friday Morning 02.14.14

What Does Love Mean?
See How 4-8 Year-Old Kids Describe Love

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds: “What does love mean?” The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think…

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”  Rebecca – age 8

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“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” Billy – age 4

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.” Danny – age 7

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” Bobby – age 7 

“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” Tommy – age 6

“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.” Cindy – age 8

“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”
Elaine – age 5

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.” Jessica – age 8

And the final one…
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 
“NothingFeature Articles, I just helped him cry.”

Source: Ladan Lashkari, dailygood.org, 12/29/2010

One Friday Morning 02.07.14

We usually don’t release a post from NASMM’s Members Only listserv, but we thought the post (below) that came through this week required a more public forum. Plus, it just warms our hearts on this polar vortex kind of day. Check it out:

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From: Sharon Cofar
To: NASMM
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 02:23:30
Subject: The Conference for Me

To My NASMM colleagues,

Only 2 more weeks! The highlight of my year is seeing my SMM “friends” again. It was 10 conferences ago when I got off the plane excited about starting my new business, but apprehensive about the days ahead.  I was attending a conference where I knew no one and knew so little about Senior Move Management that I was intimidated. I had completed training; however, I hadn’t even had a client yet! Would the other attendees talk to me? Would I fit in? I had expected to feel intimated and maybe even lonely.  But the minute I got on the shuttle and met someone traveling to the same hotel for the same conference, the whirlwind started – new friends, new ideas (lots of ideas!), positive feelings, and excitement all around me. I was welcomed into the fold, and never felt lonely or that I had made a bad decision in my new profession or in attending the conference.

There were only about 35 attendees at my first conference, which was NASMM’s second one. (Now about 400 will be attending).  I had no idea this event would be the beginning of a live long love affair – so deep, so enriching, so challenging, so  many ups and downs (mostly ups, thank goodness), so many achievements, so many happy clients, and so many new friends. My bonds with my NASMM sisters and brothers have deepened though the years, and I treasure our times together and our friendship. Though we do not see each other often, and we do not speak that many times over the year, it is always such a wonderful feeling to connect again. We share our triumphs and our disappointments, and we give advice (if asked) and receive guidance (if we ask).

This is my 10th conference.  For those of you who it is your first, you are in for such a treat – such an indescribable few days. Every minute of every day, you will be with people who speak your same language. You will be with people who care about seniors, about their issues, and about your success.  Talk to everyone. This is not the time to be shy. There will be sharing at meal time, in the elevator, at the bar, walking to and from the sessions, in the hot tub (yes, we did that several years when it was warm) and even while going out for late night ice cream. (I am always up for that midnight run.) There will not be enough minutes in the day or night to feel satiated.  At the end of the conference, you will leave overwhelmed, drained, and exhausted, but excited about all the new ideas you want to implement.  Seasoned move mangers will feel renewed, revived, and stimulated.  And everyone will be anxious to get back and take their businesses to a higher level with all the fresh ideas they gleaned from the weekend.  This is the way I always return.

Can’t wait to give my old friends a hug again, and I also look forward to making new relationships with people I will hug at the next 10 conferences!  Hope to see you in San Diego!       

Best Regards,

Sharon Cofar
A Move Made Easy, Inc.
In our 11th year of service!
Serving Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties in South Florida
www.AMoveMadeEasy.com
Former Board of Directors of NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers)
Vice President and Board of Directors of ESRN (Elder Services Resource Network)
Member of the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk committee

One Friday Morning 01.03.14

Happy New Year, everyone! We are reprinting this excellent post from our good friends at The New Old Age blog in The New York Times. It describes the recent move (and downsizing) of the blog’s founder, Jane Gross, from her longtime home to a more aging-in-place-friendly environment.

(Wish Jane had mentioned NASMM’s Senior Move Managers and how they might have helped her, but it’s a thought-provoking piece nonetheless. NASMM and SMMs were featured in the New Old Age blog several times in the past, but the most comprehensive piece was just 3 years ago here.)

We are reprinting Jane’s column from this week regarding her own move due to The New York Times paywall and the inability for many to access it via the paywall.

The New Old Age
The Getting Was Good

Boxes stacked in the author’s new apartment.
JANE GROSS
By JANE GROSS
January 2, 2014

The very day I turned 66, 177 of you wished me well on a decision to take the advice I’d been giving others: To leave a house I loved as one loves something animate, not merely a construction of clapboard and stone, before the inevitable crisis that would make it too hard to live there and also too hard to leave under my own steam.

My darling house belongs to somebody else now, and a bit more than a month has passed since I bought an apartment that’s nice enough – better than I expected, really, given the price I could afford. With the new year here, the days at their shortest and a couple of snowfalls behind me, the time seems ripe to revisit this move.

Did I do the right thing? You betcha. At the right moment? Sure I did. There are pluses and minuses, upsides and downsides. But I’d still argue that anyone who waits much longer than I did to align her living circumstances to the inexorable march of time is kidding herself. “Anything is possible” and “you never know’’ apply to much of life. But I’ve yet to meet anyone, except on a movie screen (or in a state of denial), who doesn’t get older every day.

Absent a guarantee I’d have died in my sleep while still able to walk up and down the stairs, use a chain saw, shovel snow and drive a car – to name just a few of the realities of suburban homeownership – waiting even a few years longer would have been folly.

What has been taxing now, both physically and emotionally, would have become geometrically harder with each year and impossible, perhaps in an eye blink, with one stroke of bad luck.

So, a tally of the experience, still a work in progress, in predictable and unpredictable ways:

I wish I’d done a better job of culling my possessions, leaving half again as much behind. I’m still living amid towers of boxes (somewhat mitigated by my continued amusement at the moving company’s name – Shleppers).

I wish those boxes weren’t so heavy. (Ditto the furniture, which the movers carefully placed where I wanted it …until I changed my mind). Or that I were stronger. Or that the boxes didn’t have to be broken down, taped into bundles and “shlepped” (ah, ha!) to the basement, along with garbage bags stuffed with the tissue paper enveloping every box of tea bags or can of soup.

I wish I understood the array of recycling bins in the basement, new to New York City since my departure 25 years ago, and commendable for sure. Cans and bottles in clear bags? Paper in dark ones? (Does this kind of new information keep the brain sharp like learning Sanskrit or doing Sudoku puzzles? Because if it does, I can consider my uncomfortable ignorance to be an Alzheimer’s preventive.)

I am baffled, too, by MetroCards; swiping them on the train is a snap, but the bus … not so much. And those Muni Meters for parking – which way does the credit card go in? Can you park there without paying on a holiday?

This last actually required some investigation, and the woman answering my 311 call surely thought me an idiot. She kept repeating it was a parking meter holiday. I was embarrassed to ask if these newfangled things are parking meters. Since selling my car was No. 1 on the “Old Lady Moves” agenda, this was blessedly a short-lived confusion.

I wish the bathroom wasn’t so tiny. I wish the southern light flooding my bedroom instead brightened the living room or office during the shortest days of the year.

I wish I controlled the thermostat, so the apartment isn’t either way too hot or way too cold. I wish I could simply open the door to let the dog out rather than trade my pajamas for a parka at 9 o’clock in the morning to walk him.

The dog, Henry, has made his own adjustments, although he made them more nimbly than I. At 8 years old, he’d always done his business on grass, not pavement, and he looked at me with bafflement the first time I took him out in the city. After two days of sniffing, he’d picked his spots; maybe, 56-year-olds (in dog years) are more open to new experiences than 66-year-olds.

He figured out which doormen took unkindly to mess outside their buildings, even if it was instantly scooped up. He’s especially fond of urinating on a tree ringed with cabbage plants. I wish he wouldn’t, but thought it more important to teach him not to wet the mound of blankets around the corner, which turned out to be a sleeping homeless man. I considered waking him to apologize, but instead yanked the leash hard, growled “no” in my best alpha voice and fled the scene. It hasn’t happened again.

When the confusion of a move was ahead of me, I was jotting every worry on a Post-it, lest I forget. “At what point do I sell the car?” “Where’s the title?” “Dog groomer?” “Veterinarian?” Well, the car is sold, I found a vet and I have a lead on a groomer. Now, after assembling two new 150-watt lamps so heavy that the task was like bench pressing, a chiropractor is at the top of the list. But the appointment will have to wait until the remaining 68 boxes are unpacked.

Also, I need more Band-Aids for the damage caused by fumbled knives while opening those boxes. And another bottle of Traumeel, homeopathic magic for swelling and bruising when the hammer misses the picture-hook nail and hits my hand instead.

Clearly, moving – like every other part of aging – isn’t for sissies. But I have more closet space than I’ve ever had in my life, and golden oak cabinets in the kitchen and bedroom that reach to the ceiling. There are Bosch appliances that I’m way too cheap to have ever bought for myself. Central Park is four blocks to the west, the East River promenade equidistant to the east. Any kind of food is now delivered to my door, my friends are a stroll or subway ride away, movie theaters aren’t in malls, and the superintendent can’t do enough for me.

Then there’s the snow thing. When I woke to gauzy whiteness the other day, to the telltale sound of silence broken by the occasional grumble of plows, I forgot where I was in that hypnagogic moment after sleep. I dreaded the shovel, the rock salt, wet rag socks. Frozen fingertips. Slip-sliding even with four-wheel drive to the A. & P. if I was out of milk.

But no. I live here now. Somebody else shovels. I walk to the corner for milk.

Source: Jane Gross, The New Old Age Blog, The New York Times, January 2, 2014

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~ Happy Holidays 2013 ~

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Mourning Peg Guild

All of NASMM is mourning the sudden loss of one of its most charismatic and effective leaders, with the death last Saturday of Assisted Moving’s Peg Guild in Raleigh, NC. Suffering from a rare and aggressive cancer only diagnosed a few weeks ago, Peg was a 2-term NASMM Board President and current NASMM Board member. She also was a current member of the NASMM Ethics Compliance Commission (NECC), as SMM ethical considerations were always a key priority for Peg. Lastly, Peg was the inaugural recipient of the Margit Novack Award for Outstanding Contributions in Senior Move Management.

Peg was full of life until the end of it. She was well-known for her abundant compassion and subtle kindnesses, her quick, self-deprecating wit, and her expansive intellect. We have lots of Peg stories to share, as you all do too…but one recent one comes to mind. Take a look at the NASMM 2014 Conference marketing video below. Peg (with her shock of white hair) occupies the first several seconds of this 1-minute video. In the first draft sent to us by the producer, nearly half of the video was populated with “Peg” segments. When we asked the producer to tone it down a bit (less Peg and more others) he said she was “hands-down” the most compelling voice for the association. Peg laughed her characteristically hearty laugh when we told her about it…take a look.