The Sandwich Generation in a Retirement Community

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retirement plans real estate plannersUnlike many of her peers, Linda Blossom knew just where to turn when her mother, Gladys Tulloch, needed help with the transition from her family home to a retirement community. Thanks to a support group that her employer, Freddie Mac, provided, Linda recognized herself as a part of the Sandwich Generation-a term used to describe the increasingly large number of family members who are helping their parents while simultaneously caring for their children. Linda was remarkably well informed at the start of her mother’s moving process. She immediately knew that they would need professional assistance.

Before retiring, Gladys Tulloch was the Civilian Personnel Manager for the Department of the Army. “My job involved interacting with a lot of people, which I really liked,” she recalls. Retirement life has meant more time for bridge games, antiquing, and volunteer activities. Ms. Tulloch volunteers for Project Linus, an organization that makes blankets for children who are ill or the victims of disaster.

Mrs. Tulloch was dealing with some health problems, and facing a seemingly endless list of needed home repairs, when she decided to make the move to a retirement community. Finding a community near her children where she could enjoy an active lifestyle was the easy part.

“My grandmother lived in a Leisure World, so when we found out they were building one near Leesburg, we knew it would be perfect for Mom,” says Linda.

With everything lined up for a move to her new community, Ms. Tulloch and her children turned their attention to selling the family home. After 43 years in the home, the idea of moving was overwhelming.

Linda knew about Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES) because of her support group at work. SRES agents are specially trained to meet the needs of senior clients. The family’s search for the right agent led them to Tom Shipe and Donna Leeds-Shipe, agents with Long and Foster Realtors.

Donna and Tom’s experience working with seniors and their expertise in the local market was apparent from the beginning. Linda recalls, “Their package was very detailed and easy-to-understand, and they took their time explaining everything to me and my mom.”

Before listing the home, Donna and Tom helped arrange for the completion of necessary repairs and even made recommendations for how to set-up the home for the open house. Of the team, Ms. Tulloch says, “They just stepped in immediately and did everything that needed to be done. I really didn’t have to monitor it at all.”

Realtors are often known for their hard-charging tactics, but Linda notes that Donna and Tom were able to “slow the pace down.” She continues, “When you haven’t moved in 43 years, it is a very scary thing to even think about. They understood that this was a major, highly emotional transition for my mother and all of us.”

“Like night and day,” says Ms. Tulloch of life since moving. Living at Leisure World, she says, “has taken all the stress out of life.”

No longer concerned with lists of needed home repairs, Ms. Tulloch now spends much of her time participating in activities at the community and getting to know her new neighbors. She also loves the view from her sunroom-beautifully manicured lawns that she never has to worry about maintaining.

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