Overcoming a Challenge: Moving to a Retirement Community

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There is something inspirational about Marwood and Lois Burr in their ability to turn what others may see as a challenge into a way of helping others in similar situations.

The Burrs met at Gallaudet College, a school for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students. He was a sophomore and Lois was in her preparatory year.

After obtaining their degrees, they became government employees. While Lois worked at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) library, Marwood was employed at the Government Printing Office.

“They hired many hearing-impaired individuals because they were not bothered by the sound of the printing presses,” said Lois.

Married for 50 years, they have led active lifestyles through their enjoyment of camping and traveling. When their four children were grown, the couple would go on cruises and visit exotic places such as Hawaii, Spain, and Egypt. They now also have two granddaughters, and a great-grandson.

According to Lois, they were active in many associations for the hearing impaired, such as the Maryland Association of the Deaf (MDAD) and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).

“In fact, Marwood volunteered at the NAD for 10 years while I was still working,” said Lois. They even established a scholarship fund at Gallaudet University benefiting students from either Nebraska or Wisconsin, the couple’s home states.

The Burrs had lived in their house for 45 years before deciding to move to a continuing care retirement community.

“We had also accumulated 45 years’ worth of stuff that needed to be sorted through,” said Lois, “We did not have time to go through everything ourselves, even with the help of our children.”

After interviewing different services to help them downsize, the Burrs felt comfortable with Jean Sfikas of Senior Move, Ltd.

Lois said the service was very helpful, as they sifted through boxes of stuff and took the trash away. While they stored items when the house was on the market, the individuals with Senior Move, Limited got rid of possessions the Burrs no longer wanted by donating the items to charity.

According to Jean, an auction was held where the Burrs’ network of friends in the deaf community bought their extra furniture. They helped with the packing and eased the stress for the couple on their actual moving day.

“We would recommend the use of these types of services to anyone moving out of a home that they’ve lived in for a long time,” said Lois.

It was one less stress for the couple who have already experienced a great deal through their busy activist lives.

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