A Seamless Transition

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“The last time we moved was 41 years ago,” says Ross Ressler as he comfortably relaxes in the beautifully furnished apartment he shares with his wife Mary Ann in Charlestown Retirement Community. As the couple’s apartment is completed with their upright piano and a faux fireplace that gives it an ambiance of comfort and luxury, it is hard to believe that after 40 years their latest transition was so smooth.

Long before this move, however, the Resslers’ story begins when they met at a dance, which, according to Mrs. Ressler, has often led to the debate of who saw who first. Though no matter whom it was, the couple is happy to say they have celebrated 48 years of marriage. During this time, Mr. Ressler had worked for Amoco American Oil Company while Mrs. Ressler was a homemaker and bookkeeper who worked part time at the Catonsville Community College bookstore for several years.

It was Aug. 28, 2008 that the Resslers received the call for which they had been waiting. An apartment matching their request had become available. Though the couple sold their home in a matter of three weeks, they knew the actual moving process would not be so easy.

Mrs. Ressler said she and her husband knew they did not want to tackle this move on their own and at the time were given a list of vendors by the Charlestown sales staff. Instead of getting overwhelmed and bogged down with the details, they contacted Charna Kinneberg, owner of the company Senior Transitions, Inc. which provides move coordination services.

As a result, they had downsized, disposed of unnecessary items, had everything packed up, and were moved into their new place by October 10, less than two months after initially learning the apartment was available.

“We didn’t have to go through a book to try to find people to take away trash, donate things to, or even move our things since Charna and her staff took care of everything,” says Mrs. Ressler. “Everyone was wonderful including the other vendors they recommended. They showed up on time and if they were going to be late at all, they called. There was no waiting around wondering.”

Mr. Ressler adds that on the actual moving day, the vendors were taking care of unpacking all of the items and followed the couple’s wishes placing everything accordingly. “We walked into the bedroom and there they were making our bed – it was just like a hotel where everything we needed was in place and ready for us!” he says.

In other moves they made over the years, according to Mrs. Ressler, they had still had to contend with the packing supplies after everything was done. That was certainly not the case this time, however, thanks to their moving coordinator. The trash was removed with boxes taken away, thus the Resslers were free to quickly start their lives at Charlestown.

The Resslers’ story is certainly not uncommon; however, theirs teaches others of the available resources that can be utilized when taking on this difficult task. Charna says the move coordinators take one of the major barriers of moving away. “We often hear ‘I don’t want to be a burden to my children,’ or ‘I don’t have time to help my parents,'” she says.

With a qualified, experienced move coordinator, these and other issues associated with a move are handled. According to Charna, the ultimate goal is to remove that stress from the experience, though the source differs from client to client. One may just need someone to help them figure out what will fit into the new unit while another client may want help disposing of things they do not need. Someone else will just want help packing or unpacking as others want to go on vacation and come back after the move is done.

No matter the scenario, this move manager is there to help. “We’ve done it all,” she says.

Senior Transitions, Inc., however, is not limited to coordinating local moves. Charna is President Elect and one of the founding members of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), an organization of move managers located throughout the U.S. and Canada. The industry has grown significantly in the past six years from the initial 16 member companies in 2002 to now over 500 companies.

“When a client is moving to or from another location, we can easily find a member company to help on the other end,” says Charna. “Because of my longstanding involvement with the organization, I often personally know the other company.”

Also as a result of her commitment to the association, some of the communities she regularly works with even call her rather than just selecting from the NASMM web site.

Meanwhile, with what turned out to be a very stress-free move behind them, the Resslers have enjoyed life in their new home. As Resident Ambassadors at Charlestown, they talk to prospective residents, showing them the community and discussing the advantages of living at Charlestown. Mrs. Ressler is also in the process of starting a new dining companions program at the community with her friend.

Of course, they often discuss their experience with Senior Transitions, Inc. and would recommend seeking the assistance of a move manager to anyone in a similar situation.

“There is no way we could have made the move without them,” says Mrs. Ressler. “It’s the single biggest reason most people give for not making the move. With Charna and her staff’s help, that issue is gone.”

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