Making the transition from a personal home to an assisted-living facility is a difficult decision that many senior citizens and their families are forced to make.
Richmond Hill resident Richard Payton and his wife Cynthia are trying to help alleviate the stress that comes with that decision. Their new home-based business, Caring Transitions of Savannah, assists seniors who are facing major life transitions such as relocation, downsizing, organization, de-cluttering, estate sales and home-sale preparation.
“Statistically, moving is the third most stressful life event for seniors. We’re trying to help them through that,” explained Payton.
As the nation’s largest generation — the baby boomers — approach retirement age, the need for transition assistance is growing. The Paytons’ business is a franchise, part of the larger Caring Transitions company that is expanding in the face of increased demand.
“We know what an overwhelming job it is to go through the house and figure out what stays and what goes. We’ve been through that, and it was stressful,” said Richard Payton, referring to the sale of Cynthia’s grandparents’ estate 10 years ago. “This business really appealed to us because we could help reduce that stress for family members. It’s a meaningful business.”
It helps that the Paytons are expert movers. Having spent 27 years in the Army, they’ve moved 11 times.
“Being in the military, we’ve basically lived all over. Korea, Hawaii, Tennessee, California, Alabama, Utah, you name it. We know how to move,” said the former Blackhawk instructor pilot.
Since opening the business in July, the couple has handled two estates with the help of their four children and a small staff. Payton estimates that each residence takes about one week to de-clutter, and one or two more to pack and downsize.
“It’s a bit like a treasure hunt,” he said. “You never know what you’re going to find, and I enjoy helping families rediscover their memories.”
Karen Spence is one of Caring Transitions of Savannah’s first clients. The company has been helping her organize her great-aunt’s estate.
“They’re just awesome. They handle my great-aunt’s belongings with care,” she said. “If they find anything that they feel would be personal or sensitive to the family, they bring it right to us.”
One example, she explained, was a collection of boxes in her great-aunt’s attic.
“Apparently she saved the boxes from every gift we’d ever given her with the card and a piece of the wrapping paper it was wrapped in. I didn’t know that, but when they found them, they brought it to our attention. They didn’t have to tell us that. They could have very easily thrown out the boxes and put them in the trash pile. They take the extra step, and they’re very sensitive to our feelings.”
To learn more about the Paytons and Caring Transitions of Savannah, visit www.estatemovesavannah.com or call 480-6219.