Gina Siegel understands what it’s like to relocate aging loved ones – she did it twice in two days – and now she’s looking forward to helping other families through their transitions with her new business, Caring Transitions of Cincinnati East.
Siegel grew up on the East side of Cincinnati and graduated from Cincinnati Country Day School and then DePauw University. After college, she worked in Miami, Chicago and New York, but when her parents’ health started to decline, she and her husband David, whose family lives live in Indianapolis, decided it was time to move home. When they got settled in Cincinnati, Siegel started her journey in caregiving – both for her two parents and for her two children. She ended up quitting her job to care for everyone and then soon realized that her parents needed to relocate.
“I had wonderful, loving relationships with my parents, but no one prepares you for the unique challenges of caring for aging parents and, in many cases, you go from zero to crisis in a day. It was as important to me to honor my parents as it was to make sure they were safe and happy. My mom was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and, although she was physically healthy, it was no longer safe for her to live alone. Meanwhile my dad, who was cognitively strong and living alone, was in stage-four heart failure and could no longer climb the stairs in his home. We realized pretty quickly that my mom needed assisted living and that my dad would thrive in independent living, but it all happened so fast that we ended up moving them on back to back days. It had to be that quick and it was incredibly stressful, both for my parents and for us as a family,” Siegel said.
At the time, Siegel said they thought they’d save money doing everything themselves, but since 2013, they’ve spent more than $20,000 in cash getting everyone moved (six times over three years), dealing with the estates, paying for storage, dozens of trips to online auction houses, consignment shops, and donation facilities, and more. That doesn’t account for the lost wages from quitting her job or the incidental costs over the years. Now she’s looking forward to putting that experience to good use.
“David and I came across Caring Transitions a few years ago and, having been through the experience of transitioning with my parents, we realized what an awesome opportunity Caring Transitions could be for us to help others. When we decided we were ready to pursue opening our own business, we pulled out our folder of business ideas and Caring Transitions’ information was right on top,” Siegel said. “We made a lot of mistakes, with the best intentions, by doing it all ourselves with my parents. We can’t change our family’s experience, but we can help other families have a more positive and less stressful transition. We have realistically been doing this for 10 years, and are now guiding David’s parents through their transitions, so we genuinely understand what our clients are going through. http://www.CaringTransitionsCincinnatiEast.com is very meaningful to us and the training and support that we’ve received has been impressive and invaluable. We just wish we’d called Caring Transitions back in 2013.”
Caring Transitions’ services are perfect for managing the many aspects of a senior move or assisting with the process of downsizing to provide a safer living situation, as well as for busy families and people clearing out the home of a loved one who has moved into assisted care or passed. All of Caring Transitions’ services are customizable, so clients choose the solution that best fits their needs – whether that means managing the entire move and estate-clearing, just getting someone resettled into their new place, or anything in between. Siegel is especially looking forward to the online estate sales component of the business.
“Before the move, my dad was able to go through everything with me and talk about what he wanted to save and what we could sell or donate, but my mom was more of a collector. She had a nicely decorated home in Hyde Park where every drawer and closet was filled with things that were valuable to her, not including the three full storage units she had been renting for more than 25 years. Even after selling items through an online auction, we still had 95 percent of her things left to distribute. We had to delay the closing of her home because we couldn’t get the house cleared out in time. My parents have since passed away and we still have two storage units as well as a garage and basement filled with items from their homes. Now we know how to sort through what to keep and how to thoughtfully distribute the rest,” Siegel said.
Caring Transitions of Cincinnati East is bonded, insured and their W2 employees have been background checked. For additional information about Caring Transitions of Cincinnati East, call (513)321-2828, email GSiegel(at)CaringTransitions.com or visit http://www.CaringTransitionsCincinnatiEast.com.