Advisers Help Seniors Transition


Rochester Post, C & G Newspaper Network
DATE:  FEBRUARY 19, 2009


After the death of her husband in November, Veronica St. Fauver decided it was time to move out of her Warren home.She managed to find a new spot at a senior condo in South Lyon. But then came the burden of getting her stuff out of one place and taking it to another.


"I had to go through all the accumulation throughout all the years," she explained. "My husband was a packrat. He never threw anything out."


Fortunately, St. Fauver, 67, did not have to de-clutter her home or arrange for a cleaning crew by herself. Her daughter searched online and found a professional who could make the task easier - a certified location transition specialist named Carolyn Stieger. Stieger helped oversee St. Fauver's move in January and February.


Stieger, who also runs a home staging business, said many seniors move from a larger home to a smaller one because it fits their needs as they get older. In the process, the elderly often need help downsizing, doing estate sales and organizing the move.


The location transition industry is growing because of the aging of the baby boomers, she explained.


"We're all getting older every day, and that need is growing every hour," she said. "It's a huge industry, as our children … don't have the time to devote to helping (their) parents downsize. They can hire someone like us to take care of the whole move."


When Stieger arranges a senior's move, she first interviews the client to find out his or her needs. Sometimes, the requests can be as simple as organizing and shredding old documents. And when Stieger can't do everything by herself, she can call on her trusted vendors to do the heavy lifting and housecleaning.


Whenever a contractor comes to the home, Stieger is on hand to make sure the contractor is not taking advantage of her client.


"It's really a hands-on type of service," she said. "Sitting down with the senior every morning saying, 'These are the goals today,' making sure they don't get stressed out or distracted or overwhelmed."


Stieger said the usual transition consulting normally doesn't take longer than a week or a week and a half. But things like estate sales can prolong the process. "It can be quick, or it can be very tedious," she said.


For the seniors' sake, the elderly relocation industry is overseen by the National Association of Senior Move Managers. Stieger said the nonprofit group protects the interests of its senior clientele by seeking proof that relocation companies are legit.


"They feel that with their rigid controls, they're probably setting the bar very high for people who do get into this industry," she said.


St. Fauver said she never would've been able to throw away her clutter without Stieger's help and dedication.


"There should be more like her, especially for senior citizens," she said. "I cannot praise her enough."


To learn more about Stieger's services, call (248) 322-4703.