Retired Fort Wayne educator Pete Downey has launched One-Stop Senior Transitions, LLC, to help elderly individuals downsize, relocate and/or de-clutter. Serving Fort Wayne and Allen County, One-Stop Senior Transitions provides what Downey calls “wrap-around services” that help seniors with the difficult and often scary transition from their family residence to a new home that better suits their needs. “We offer services designed to remove the emotional, mental and physical stress that often accompanies this transition,” he said.
Downey, who is a member of and has been trained by the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), is assisted in operating the business by his mother, Muriel Downey, also a retired educator. One-Stop’s services help seniors who either are planning to move soon or to downsize with a move planned for the future. A free initial consultation allows seniors to become acquainted with One-Stop Senior Transitions and the services available to them.
Making a major move at any age is difficult and stressful, but for seniors it can be overwhelming. With this thought in mind, One-Stop has designed a basic package that provides up to five hours of sorting, along with a customized move plan and a floor plan of the new home to help seniors envision how their furnishings will fit into their new surroundings.
Customized move plans are developed with the client from a menu of services to meet each person’s individual needs. This plan could include room-by-room sorting, packing, unpacking and settling in services to help seniors complete the downsizing and relocation process.
Other service options include the scheduling and oversight of third-party movers, arranging for the disposal of unwanted items and hazardous waste materials, preparing and delivering items to be donated, digital photo inventory of belongings, as well as coordinating and preparing for a home sale.
Most Senior Move Managers come from professional careers, and all of them share a caring attitude, according to NASMM. Pete Downey has 27 years of experience in public schools as a teacher, administrator and consultant. During his career, he worked with students having special needs, students who were incarcerated, and students in general and alternative school settings. Muriel Downey worked for 40-plus years in the education field, serving in public schools as a teacher, administrator and consultant, as well as an adjunct instructor at local universities. In retirement, she has volunteered for numerous local organizations serving seniors and those with special needs.
The Downeys say they realized the need for senior transition services through personal experiences in their own lives. For Pete Downey, volunteering with local nursing home residents and witnessing the failing health of his grandfather had a major impact on his life. As his grandfather’s health deteriorated, he saw family members disrupting their work schedules and busy calendars and traveling some distance to assist in the necessary downsizing and relocation of his grandfather from his home. While volunteering as an ombudsman at nursing homes, he worked with elderly residents to ensure they were receiving the services they required, and in the process became their friend. These experiences made him aware of the many challenges associated with late-in-life transitions and the need for caring and concerned individuals to work with our aging population, which in turn motivated him to start One-Stop Senior Transitions, LLC.
Muriel Downey experienced the stress of cross-country moves on several occasions and more recently witnessed the fears and anxieties of several friends who made the decision to downsize and transition to a new and different living situation. “Each of my friends expressed the wish that they had been supported in their transition by a service like One-Stop,” she said. Muriel assists her son by serving as a move coordinator for One-Stop Senior Transitions.