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122 Broad Blvd., Suite 203
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

(440) 681-0501

Senior Moving, Relocation, Downsizing and Packing experts in Cleveland, Ohio and Akron, Ohio.

Your Hired Family Member.

The Modern Concierge Blog

Thought-starters...Interesting points to consider...All about our hometown.  Your Modern Concierge Blog.  We are the only On-Demand, multi-generational concierge in Northeast Ohio.  

8 Rules for Home Organizing and Purging!

Thomas Kravitz

8 Rules for Home Organizing and Purging!

Many of us want to lead simple, uncluttered lives, but every time we make a commitment to organize a room in the house, an overwhelming sense of "where do I start?" sets in.  When deciding on what stays and what goes, remember these 8 simple rules:

  1. One Year Rule:  If you have not seen it/used it/looked at it in a year, get it out of your house.
  2. Broken Beyond Repair:  It's broken, it's busted, it's a goner.  Get it gone.
  3. Not Even Yours:  This is the worst type of clutter - you do not even own it!  Give it back to the person who does.
  4. Guilt:  Life gets busy, and you shouldn't put more pressure on yourself by feeling responsible for things.  They are just things, and do not get you any closer to your goals.
  5. "Just In Case":  Think about the items you keep for this reason.  Have any of those events come up when you actually needed them?  Maybe, but it does not matter right now.  
  6. Publications:  Magazines and newspapers are old; the information contained in them is likely outdated.  All of this information is easily accessible on the internet.  This goes for books also.
  7. Done:  There are items we are just done with, but have not gotten around to getting rid of them yet.  Now is that time.  Done.
  8. Simply The Best:  Only put back into your closets and cupboards the best of what you own or things you simply cannot part with.

I wish we could take credit for posting these rules first, but they are found on http://www.31daystodeclutter.com.  Trust us - these work.  You have no excuse not to start now.

Seniors Learning Technology (Insights from Melanie Haiken)

Thomas Kravitz

Seniors Learning Technology

Old Dogs, New Tricks: Why Seniors Have Trouble With Technology

By Melanie Haiken, Caring.com senior editor

You've tried to show your grandmother how to use Facebook three times and she can never remember how to log in. Your father loves Sinatra, but when you send him links to historic clips, he says he can't open them. You desperately need your mother to learn to text so she won't interrupt your workday with calls. Why is it so difficult to teach older adults how to use the Internet, cell phones, and other technology? And given the uses and benefits that most of us value so highly, why do some seniors seem unmotivated to learn? Researchers, it turns out, have been studying this very issue and have come up with some interesting answers -- and solutions. Read on and see if any of the situations below sound familiar, and what to do if your loved one fits one (or more) of these profiles.

The Slow Starter

The number of seniors using the Internet has grown much more slowly year by year than the rate of Internet use by adults in general. In 2012, the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project was finally able to announce that more than half (53 percent) of American adults over age 65 are online and using e-mail. When asked their reasons for not going online, most said they either "didn't need it," didn't see the benefits of it, or didn't know how to access it. Interestingly, though, once older adults get online, they tend to be very active; Pew's data show that most Web users over 65 go online on a daily basis, and more than half use social media as well as e-mail and search engines. What does this suggest? That seniors only discover the benefits of being online once they are. In other words, showing your grandmother the baby pictures your sister just posted on Facebook is going to be a much more powerful motivator than anything you can say.

How to Help
The best way to help a slow starter is with the simplest possible technology and step-by-step demonstrations. So next time you visit, sit down with Dad or Grandma and walk them slowly through the basic steps, starting wherever they are. If your loved one is resisting the introduction of technology at home, get her started at the library, or bring your own laptop or tablet over to show her what she's missing. Many seniors also benefit from the support of a group course, like those offered at New York's Senior Planet, a new senior technology learning center that offers free courses in Internet use, iPad apps, digital photography, and more. Many adult day programs and community centers offer such courses, too. Keep in mind any physical limitations -- if your loved one has arthritis that interferes with typing, for example, a tablet or an oversized keyboard might be the solution. If eyesight is an issue, there are phones designed with larger interfaces, and you can increase type size on devices and computers.

The Nervous Nellie

"Oh, I don't know, I don't think I'll be able to learn to use it," your elderly parent says when you offer to buy her a smartphone. Many older adults respond to the constant demands of changing times by becoming easily intimidated and even fearful. Often their nervousness is accompanied by self-doubt and a sort of fatalism: "I think it's a little late in life for me to learn all that." So how do you get past this brick wall of resistance? According to a 2008 government report, "Barriers and Drivers of Health Information Technology Use for the Elderly, Chronically Ill, and Underserved," anxiety and intimidation were main factors preventing seniors from trying out new technology.

How to Help
Like most of us, older adults learn best with one-on-one, hands-on show-and-tell. And the more nervous and intimidated your loved one is about technology, the more important it is to transmit information in small bites. Show your loved one how to do one thing at a time, and let her practice doing it on her own multiple times before moving on to another challenge. Also, don't throw a bunch of new tools at her at once; the government survey found that seniors learn best when technology is delivered using equipment they're already familiar with. Of course this doesn't help if your parent or loved one uses no technology at all, but it suggests that if your loved one already has experience with one type of technology, you might want to increase her skills in that area before trying a new device.

The Cranky Curmudgeon

We all know at least one person who falls into this camp -- or we might even describe ourselves this way, at least under some circumstances. The operative issue here as it relates to technology is temper; the curmudgeon has a low frustration threshold, is easily annoyed, and lacks the patience to work through problems when they arise. (Which they will do -- adapting to new technology is never problem free.)

How to Help
To prevent frustration, set low expectations from the start, explaining that pretty much everyone gets stuck early on and it's no big deal. To combat crankiness, offer plenty of positive reinforcement after each task. If your loved one gets impatient with you, you can speed up the pace of your instruction, but stop frequently and have her practice each skill. (Otherwise you'll trigger frustration when she can't remember.) If she gets impatient with herself, you can try humor to defuse the situation, offer reassurance, take a break, or simply overlook the grumpiness and keep going.

The Budget-Conscious User

Many seniors live on tight budgets and have to pay close attention to expenses. Owning a computer or setting up cable access may feel like an expense they can't afford. That said, the government's study on barriers to Internet use found that many seniors overestimate the cost of technology by a wide margin, based on outdated information or a misunderstanding of what type of equipment they need.

How to Help
Take your loved one to a store with a good technology department and introduce him to the variety of options available. Explain that tablets, netbooks, and laptops are available at much lower cost than the big desktop computers he's more familiar with. If your loved one can't afford or balks at monthly payments for Internet access or a data plan, you can introduce her to the computers at the public library or see if he's interested in a Wi-Fi-only tablet that he can use in cafes and other public places. Studies show that once older adults discover the ways in which the Internet and social media enhance their lives, they become more open to paying for those services.

The Stay-at-Homer

"I'm always here, so why would I need a cell phone?" If you've ever heard this one, you know you're in for a chicken-and-egg discussion. Many seniors are so used to relying on a home phone and voice mail that they don't realize it's exerting a habit-forming pull. ("I need to stay home in case Mary calls.") But isolation can become a habit, and not a good one. Recently, experts in aging have begun to focus on what some are calling an "epidemic of loneliness" among older adults. More seniors today live alone than at any time before, and many do not have strong social networks for support. Studies have shown that for many older adults, isolation gradually breeds fear, social anxiety, and increases the likelihood of depression and health problems.

How to Help: According to a U.K. study by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Internet usage can be key to helping seniors stay connected and avoid loneliness. (Read 6 Tips to Entice Your Parent to Adapt to the Web.) The Web also comes in handy for tasks that may be difficult for older adults who don't get out much. Learning to do online banking, for example, could save her many a trip downtown. And when it comes to accessing government benefits, older adults may have no choice but to go online. In 2011, the U.S. Social Security Administration stopped mailing Social Security benefit statements, making them available online only. Even more drastic, in March 2013 the agency stopped mailing paper-based benefit checks, requiring direct deposit instead. Get your loved one up to speed on e-mail, social media, or online support groups, and you've introduced her to a virtual community that's available even when she's housebound.

 

Contact SPC Concierge to determine how a concierge can make learning and using technology a breeze.  This is a smart investment.

What is the Sandwich Generation?

Thomas Kravitz

If you are caring for your aging parents and at the same time support your own children, you are

part of the sandwich generation. To commemorate the special needs of people caring for

multiple generations, July has been designated as the Sandwich Generation Month. There are

many options available to help cope with common sandwich generation problems. In many

instances, the caretakers are not prepared and don’t know who to turn to for help. Being

unprepared can cause much stress on families, both financially and emotionally. It is so

important that caretakers realize the importance of their own self-care as well.

 

SPC Concierge is proud to offer the following services for The Sandwich Generation:

  • Home/Yard Management
  • Transportation
  • Technology Assistance
  • Pet/House Sitting
  • Design & Decorating
  • Home/Office Organization
  • Shopping
  • Companionship
  • Relocation Services
  • Event Planning

*When the chips are down and you are in a pickle, call SPC CONCIERGE.

25% off when you mention "PICKLE" on your first three or more hours of service.

440-681-0501  |  spcconcierge.com

In The News: SPC helps clients with daily living

Thomas Kravitz

Senior Premier Concierge helps clients with daily living

5/5/2016 - West Side Leader

By Maria Lindsay

Senior Premier Concierge LLC offers a variety of nonmedical services to seniors in Summit and Medina counties, as well as other areas. 

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Senior Premier Concierge (SPC) LLC offers a variety of nonmedical services to senior citizens in Summit and Medina counties, as well as Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga and Portage counties.

The year-old business, based out of an office at 122 Broad Blvd., Suite 203, is owned by Mary Helen Wright, who serves as CEO and lead concierge, and Greg Perry, who serves as the director of development.

Wright said the business was born out of her experience. She explained she has been an activities coordinator for 20 years and that while she was a stay-at-home mom, she formed Helping Hands to assist friends and neighbors in need in her Silver Lake neighborhood. She added she noticed that there was no agency that offered a coordination of services.

“This business is a 20-year-old idea whose time came last March when everything came into place,” said Wright. “Senior Premier Concierge offers on-demand services to seniors who need help and for active adults who want to use their time to enjoy other activities.”

SPC’s wide variety of services include: light housekeeping and window cleaning; yard work and snow removal; painting; pet grooming and walking; assistance with moving and setting up a new residence, including downsizing, hiring a moving company, packing, unpacking, furniture set up, restocking groceries and coordinating the reconnection of electronics and services; door-to-door transportation services for any activity; mail pickup; entertainment planning and party and event coordination, including gift purchases and wrapping; and personal wellness activities such as scheduling health and medical appointments, prescription pickup and more.

“We take care of many of our clients’ needs,” said Wright.

Wright stated SPC helps clients just discharged from a hospital and needing help, and those who need help because there is no family close by.

“We are a hired family member for those who need someone to trust and rely on,” said SPC General Manager Scott Kravitz.

Wright stated SPC partners with Mobile Meals and the Hunger Center and uses profits to help those in need.

“We had one long-time Mobile Meals client that we helped get furniture for,” said Wright. “When he passed away, we paid for his funeral services because he had no family. We are advocates for services some people cannot afford or can’t purchase, such as companionship.”

For additional information or a consultation, contact Kravitz by calling 440-681-0501 or send an email toinfo@spcconcierge.com or visit www.spcconcierge.com.

Caring for Aging Parents: How Concierge Services are the Ideal Solution

Thomas Kravitz

 

It was reported by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006 that almost 1/3rd of seniors 65 years and above in the United States reported falls. 25. At some point in time, you may have to provide some professional assistance to your elderly.

It is in instances like these where a senior concierge service company can step in to ensure that the people you love never feel your absence. Here’s how they can help:

1.Regular Check Ins & Visits

As we grow older, simple tasks that we performed in the blink of an eye before, becomes a laborious chore. Life, in general, becomes challenging and your loved one may need assistance. If they reside alone, it would be preferable to have someone drop in to check up on them, or perhaps call in daily to inquire if any form of assistance is required. Your senior care service provider can do that.

2.Home Maintenance

As per the CDCP, most elderly people injure themselves while doing chores. With a weak knee and various other ailments, most find house chores impossible to complete. Luckily, concierge senior care services offer all the benefits that are required to keep their home tidy and safe.. Your elderly parents won’t have to lift a finger. Here is what you should expect them to cover:

  • Laundry services/dry cleaners
  • Garbage disposal
  • Scheduled home repairs or maintenance
  • Lawn care

3.Grocery Shopping Is Now Available!

A balanced diet is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Need your groceries delivered? Have something specific in mind that needs to be picked up? A concierge service can stock up your fridge for you. Your elderly parents don’t have to be concerned about unavailability, and you will remain worry free regarding their safety and care.

Taking Senior Care & Home Maintenance In Cleveland and Akron to the Next Level!

Put side all worries for your elderly loved ones. At SENIOR PREMIER CONCIERGE, our trained staff will check in on them and will update you on a regular basis. In addition to providing assistance, we run errands like prescription pickups, mail pickups, etc. or simply provide company to enhance their day!

For more information, call us at, 440-681-0501, or email us at info@spcconcierge.com.  

Cleveland Winter Driving Tips

Thomas Kravitz

Tips for Safe Winter Driving

consumerreports.org

February 8, 2016

Winter driving brings inherent risks. But you can put the odds in your favor with proper preparation, car maintenance, and driving techniques.

Keeping up with car maintenance year-round is important, but it carries added significance in the winter when being stranded can be inconvenient due to travel plans, as well as being downright unpleasant waiting at the side of the road. As always, try to time your routine maintenance ahead of long-distance travel. Putting off service today can turn into an expensive problem down the road.

To be prepared for challenges winter driving poses, keep these tips in mind:

Maintain a full tank of gas. Keeping a half tank or more of gas limits the moisture that can condensate in the tank, and it means you are well positioned to tough out an expected traffic jam or survive being stuck in the snow.

Care for your tires. As winter driving safety is impacted by traction, it is key to make sure your tires are in top shape. Check tire pressure monthly, topping off as necessary. (Cold winter temperatures can lower tire pressure.) Inspect your tires for tread depth, an important factor in wet and snow traction. The tread should be at least 1/8 an inch, easily gauged by using a quarter and measuring from the coin's edge to Washington's head. Look for uneven tread wear, which typically indicates poor wheel alignment or worn suspension components. If you do invest in new tires, be sure to have your vehicle's alignment and suspension checked before having the tires mounted to avoid premature wear. (See our tire buying guide and ratings.)

Accelerate slowly to reduce wheel spin. If starting from a standstill on slick snow or ice, start in second gear if you have a manual transmission or gear-selectable automatic so the vehicle is less likely to spin the tires.

Reduce your speed and drive smoothly. In slippery conditions, tires lose their grip more easily, affecting all aspects of your driving: braking, turning, and accelerating. Keeping the speeds down will give you more time to react to slippage or a possible collision, and it will lessen the damage should things go wrong.

Allow longer braking distances. Plan on starting your braking sooner than you normally would in dry conditions to give yourself extra room, and use more gentle pressure on the brake pedal.

Don't lock your wheels when braking. Locked wheels can make the vehicle slide or skid. If you have an older vehicle without an antilock braking system (ABS), you may need to gently apply the brakes repeatedly in a pulsing motion to avoid having them lock up the wheels. If your vehicle has ABS, simply depress the brake pedal firmly and hold it down. The shuddering sounds and pedal feeling is expected (don't lift off the brake); the system is doing its job.

Perform one action at a time when accelerating, braking, and turning. Asking a vehicle to do two things at once--such as braking and turning, or accelerating and turning—can reduce your control. When taking a turn on a slippery surface, for instance, reduce speed sufficiently, and slowly apply the brakes while the vehicle is still going straight.

Avoid sudden actions when cornering. A sudden maneuver—such as hard braking, a quick turn of the steering wheel, sudden acceleration, or shifting a manual transmission—can upset a vehicle's dynamics when it's taking a turn. Rapidly transferring the weight from one end or corner to another can throw a car off balance. In slick conditions, this can cause it to more easily go out of control.

Beware bridges and overpasses. These can freeze before the roads.

Be ready to correct for a slide. Should the rear end of the vehicle begin to slide during a turn, gently let off on the accelerator and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. This will help straighten it out. Electronic stability control will also help keep control in a slide situation. But remember, safety systems may bend the laws of physics, but they can't overcome stupid. If you’re turning and the vehicle keeps moving straight ahead, you may be tempted to turn even more. However, it is better to slow down and turn back straight for moment until you can regain traction and then make your turn.

Don't let four- or all-wheel-drive give you a false sense of security.4WD and AWD systems only provide extra traction when accelerating. They provide no advantage when braking or cornering. Everyone has four-wheel brakes...

Be extra wary of other motorists. They may not be driving as cautiously as you, so leave extra space, avoid distractions, and be predictable, signaling clearly ahead of any turns or lane changes. If you feel you’re being ‘pushed’ by someone wanting to go faster, pull over and let them go.

Don’t pass snow plows. The road is likely more treacherous in front of the trucks, and the added speed needed to complete the pass can risk sliding. Instead, hang back and let the trucks do their job. Don’t follow too close, as there is a high risk of windshield-threatening pebbles being thrown up from sanding machines.

What to Do If You're Stuck

Try to shovel a path out. With the front wheels straight, rock the car by shifting between drive and reverse and applying light throttle. Shift directions the moment the wheels start spinning. Spread sand in your tracks. Once freed, keep going until you reach firm footing.

If the car isn’t moving, don’t spin the wheels; they’ll just dig deeper into the snow. You may need to jack up the car to put a traction aid under the drive wheels, but make sure the jack is on firm ground. You can use sand, cat litter, twigs, weeds, planks, even your car’s floor mats or trunk liner. Make sure others stand clear before you apply power.

SPCConcierge.com

440-681-0501