real estate
News and Tribune

April 12, 2008

Business helps seniors move, downsize


Moving can be stressful, especially for senior citizens who have lived at a location for decades

Many times, seniors downsize and don’t have space to take everything they have accumulated through the years. And family members can sometimes add additional stress and strain to the situation.

That is when Mona Wagoner steps in.

Wagoner operates Smooth Transitions of Southern Indiana. Her business is designed to make moving and downsizing as stress free as possible.

“The job has been very rewarding,” she said. “This is one of the fastest-growing businesses for women.”

Started by Barbara Morris, Smooth Transitions has locations all over the country. It is certified by the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

Wagoner - whose business is located at 1600 Rector Lane in New Albany - said moving can be overwhelming for senior citizens. She said she can be objective, where other family members can not.

“Families appreciate objectivity,” she said. “And it’s rewarding for me.

“I work with the families and give them my recommendations. Then we decide where to donate the items we leave behind. We try to avoid dump sites. We want to keep it moving.”

Nancy Cogan was unable to move her mother, due to illness, when she called Wagoner recently. The Louisville resident was in the process of moving her mother to a nursing home when she became sick. Wagoner stepped in and finished the move.

“We talked on the phone a few times but she took care of everything,” Cogan said. “It was very traumatic, but she was perfect the way she handled everything. I was caught in a situation where I needed someone to pack.”

Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, said the demand for more senior movers will increase as 76 million Baby Boomers prepare to retire.

“It’s a growing industry,” she said. “The senior move manager is an extra layer of emotional support. They move people, rather than boxes. They help them sort through a lifetime of memories.”

In two years, the business has grown from 80 move managers, to more than 450 across the country, Buysse said.

“It’s really a significant life change, and sometimes it takes someone from the outside to help with the process and ease the transition,” she said. “Most family members are probably two-income families and have all kinds of obligations with their children. There is just not enough time.”

Wagoner also said many times family members live out of town and are unable to help parents with the moving process. She said her business gives them “peace of mind.”

She also said many times tough decisions have to be made, such as to what to keep and what to leave behind. Wagoner said she also helps in the complete shutdown of an established home site and with finding a new home, apartment or condominium.

“She has a lot of contacts. We wanted to give the stuff to someone who needed it,” Cogan said.

For more information about the business or rates, contact Wagoner at 502-386-1025 or mona@movingforseniors.com.

ON THE WEB: www.movingforseniors.com

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©2001 SMOOTH TRANSITIONS™ • Illustrations ©1998 Carol L. Cornette