Moving Company in Kelowna Helping Seniors Transition

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Bekins Moving & Storage Kelowna personalizes moving services to meet the unique needs of seniors who are downsizing to smaller homes.

Bekins Kelowna Moving & Storage Kelowna move seniors into new residences with patience and careful planning

Bekins Kelowna has learned it takes careful planning to move a client into a home that's shared by residents and support staff.

When we can coordinate with family members, it makes the transition smoother. But sometimes they don't live in town, or there's no one around to help them. That's when we step in and try to help as best we can. We become their family, in a sense.

The Okanagan's population is aging, and one moving company in Kelowna has noticed an increasing number of seniors who are choosing to downsize into smaller homes as a result. The transition isn't always an easy one, says Nathan Miller, general manager of Bekins Moving and Storage.

According to a Global News report, there are now more seniors living in Kelowna than there are people under the age of 19. This is the first time this has ever happened, and this momentous shift in the population demographic is due in large part to an aging Baby Boomer population.

Many seniors recognize the Okanagan as a desirable place to retire. They often use long distance moving services to relocate from places like Alberta and the Lower Mainland.

"When it comes to seniors and moving, many are living in their family homes," says Miller. "Many have been in them for 30-plus years. It's a bigger-than-normal event for them. They're usually heightened emotionally when we come in to do a survey."

In many instances, seniors will have accumulated a lifetime of possessions that simply won't fit into a smaller space. Miller says deciding what to do with all of these belongings can be more stressful than the move itself. Having someone who can help them sort through everything can greatly reduce stress.

That could mean passing heirlooms on to other family members, making a donation to a charity shop or selling non-essential items. As Miller notes, many retirement homes are fully catered, which means residents no longer need their kitchenware.

To ease the process for seniors who are transitioning to smaller homes or retirement communities, Miller urges family members to get involved.

"When we can coordinate with family members, it makes the transition smoother," he says. "But sometimes they don't live in town, or there's no one around to help them. That's when we step in and try to help as best we can. We become their family, in a sense.

"We like to make sure we're there educating them throughout the moving process. It usually requires an added level of service because there are personalized requirements that seniors need."

Above all else, Miller preaches patience and empathy. He understands that many seniors won't have gone through a move in a long time. So if they need help to ensure their utilities are disconnected, Bekins is happy to ensure it gets done properly.

"It's a huge transition, moving into that next stage of life," he says. "When we're working in those situations, patience is important. As you get older, you tend to want things to move a little bit slower. We do our best to provide a stress-free atmosphere."

One of the challenges of moving seniors into retirement homes is that other people live there. Unlike a condo where his movers would have more freedom to operate, Miller says it requires careful planning to move a client into a home that's shared by residents and support staff.

"We know not to clog up the elevators when it's dinner time, or during other busy periods. We know their hours of operation," says Miller. "We do this all the time. There's a high senior population in the valley and we're familiar with most of the facilities.

"It's also a referral for us. These retirement homes get to know us. They know how we work here, so they'll just say: 'Call Bekins, they know what to do.'"

About Bekins Moving & Storage Kelowna:
As a trusted moving company in Kelowna and part of the oldest moving franchise in Western Canada, with six branches across BC, Bekins Moving & Storage Kelowna offers all-inclusive moving services in and around the Okanagan and beyond. Bekins Kelowna movers are available for businesses needing to relocate or renovate. They also provide long distance moving services through Bekins' affiliate, United Van Lines, which has more than 200 locations across North America.

For more information, please contact:
Nathan Miller
General Manager
Bekins Moving & Storage Kelowna
info[at]bekinskelowna[dot]com
250-766-1966
http://www.bekinskelownamovers.com

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