The morning is COLD. I am chilled and can’t get warm. The messy watercolor sky is a mixture of charcoal gray and navy. So much for spring in Chicago. No wonder Oprah is leaving and moving to LA.
About 10:30AM, I receive an unexpected (but most welcome) telephone call from an experienced NASMM member on the East Coast. She asks if we have received her dues renewal payment. She clearly wants to chat about something else, and I soon discover what: the ongoing struggle of communicating with her older adult senior move management clients – especially the “oldest-old” (85+). She isn’t seeking guidance, and doesn’t need a solution to any specific problem. She simply wants to share how the most basic aspect of being a senior move manager can also be the most challenging on a daily basis – client communication. She indicates she has already spoken with a NASMM colleague/friend (whom she met at the 2008 NASMM Conference in St. Louis) earlier this morning. Over tea and coffee and separated by a thousand miles, they listened to each other (and leaned on each other) for support and encouragement.
The rain hammers the office windows as she speaks. It’s a great day to dig into the piles of work engulfing my laptop. As I listen to her, however, I clearly hear her frustration with her older clients’ hearing loss, vision changes, and movement limitations. We know aging is not just about the passage of time; it brings intense physical changes as well. No surprise there.
We speak for about 15 or 20 minutes. It is good to hear from her. I haven’t spoken with her since the 2011 NASMM Conference in Florida last January. She tells me it’s her first day in weeks without a senior move on the schedule. She seems glad to have a day to finally catch up on paperwork and email. She is conducting another senior move tomorrow – her third for the same client in as many years. Life is good, she says. I smile because I think she is a great senior move manager. Her concern with enhancing her client communication skills underscores her commitment to this growing profession.
As we hang up, we promise to keep in touch. As I work through my stacks of paper and Post-Its throughout the day, I keep returning to what she said about age-related changes to our bodies. I can’t rest until I find the cool video I keep meaning to share with you about this very topic. So here goes ~
Got three minutes? Check out Growing Old in Three Minutes. My favorite clip is the hearing video. Wow!