Moving With Dementia

Ting and I attended a very informative training this week put on by the Alzheimer Society. dementia_friendsWe found out the number of people who live with dementia in BC is over 70,000 and the risk for dementia doubles every five years after age 65.

Since our clientele is generally 75-105 years old, we need to recognize the signs of dementia and incorporate special techniques into our moving services to maximize the health and safety of our clients. We also need to use our experience and training to help family members avoid common pitfalls during the move Continue reading

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Our A+ rating with Better Business Bureau

Anney-smallToday I want to let the world know that we have an A+ rating with the BBB!

We’ve achieved this rating because we have absolutely no issues with anybody. Since we started Act Together Moving Services in 2011, we have had no complaints regarding our Advertising and Sales, or Billing, or Collection Issues, or Problems with Service Delivery, or Guarantee Issues…all categories that the Better Business Bureau tracks Continue reading

Aging In Victoria Seminars

Anney-small“I had no idea.” I hear that over and over when helping clients and their families to navigate the dizzying senior housing options in Victoria.

And it doesn’t stop with housing. As my clients get older, it becomes harder for them to cope with the health system. Ask any senior who is trying to find a GP that is accepting new patients…it seems impossible.

That’s why I’ve teamed up other experts to put on free seminars over the next two weeks. The seminars range in topic from hidden costs that hit seniors, to housing options and aging in place, to healthy aging strategies.

The format we will follow is a collaborative panel discussion, followed by questions and input from the audience. We are there to share what we have learned from years of working in our respective industries, and also to learn from people who are navigating through their retirement.

These seminars are free, and include delicious refreshments!

I hope you can join us to learn and share.


Seminar 1: Making a Financial Plan

Our panel will discuss the various costs facing the elderly, ranging from housing, health care, aging in place and more.

Saturday, April 25th, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Location: The Kensington 3965 Shelbourne St Victoria

Panel: Barbra Hopkins (Sun Life Financial)Nolan Adam (Sands Funeral Chapel) & Farhan Kanji (Heart Pharmacy).

Seating is limited. Call The Kensington today to reserve your spot! 250-477-1232


Seminar 2: Senior Housing Options

Our panel will discuss topics ranging from real estate, retirement housing options, VIHA (Island Health) and more.

Thursday, April 30th, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Location: The Kensington 3965 Shelbourne St Victoria

Panel: Tony Joe (RE/MAX Camosun)Anney Ardiel (Act Together Moving Services).

Seating is limited. Call The Kensington today to reserve your spot! 250-477-1232


Seminar 3: Staying Healthy and Safe

Our panel will discuss safety at home, prescription management, exercise and nutrition and community resources.

Wednesday, May 6th, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Location: The Kensington 3965 Shelbourne St Victoria

Panel: Richard Major (Motion Specialties)Brecon Gage (Comfort Keepers) Farhan Kanji (Heart Pharmacy).

Seating is limited. Call The Kensington today to reserve your spot! 250-477-1232

The Golden Years…Because They Cost So Much?

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When David Bowie sang “Nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years,” I have a pretty good hunch that he wasn’t referring to the period of life between the ages of 65 and 80+.

For most of us, the “golden years” refer to that period of retirement, when the kids have moved out, debts are paid off and careers have wound down. If you are in good shape financially, physically and mentally, your years past age 65 can indeed be golden.

These years can, however, can be far from golden for some. People can be at their most vulnerable in the following areas:
1. Health Concerns
senior-man-gym.jpgThese are the years when chronic illness, weight gain, reduced muscle mass, changes in hearing and eyesight, memory disorders and other health concerns rear their ugly heads. At the same time our body’s ability to self-repair becomes reduced as we age.
2. Money Matters
Most people rely on a fixed income after retirement, usually a combination of government pension (OAS/GIS, CPP), workplace pensions and RRSPs, and investment income.
The financial risks people face during the golden years include:
  • Will the value of their pensions and investments change?
  • As they age, will their income be able to cover the changing costs of housing, health care, and assistance required for the daily acts of living?
  • Will their financial reserves last long enough, or will they outlive their expected lifespan?
  • Will the death of a partner or spouse alter their financial situation?
  • Will they be able to leave behind something for the kids?
3. Housing Woes
Vulnerabilities in housing can overturn the apple cart of the golden years. Worries include:
Can I afford rising property taxes, maintenance and adaptations?

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I commonly hear of “house-poor” seniors who are just barely holding on to ownership of their house. Although rising property values will benefit them when it comes time to sell, if they want to remain living in their house they have to pay the rising taxes, keep up with repairs and pay for costly upgrades and adaptations to “age in place”.
Can I sell my condo? I hear the market is terrible.

In reality, condos can receive multiple offers if priced correctly and marketed well. The wise move is to get advice on real estate from experts before spiralling into worry based on rumours.
Rumours abound and everyone has a friend who says it’s impossible to sell in this market. What will happen if an individual needs to move into more appropriate housing due to health, but finds that their home sits on the market for months or years?
If I sell, can I find a nice place to rent?
If someone has owned their own house for many years the thought of renting can be off-putting. Sharing close quarters with neighbours, dealing with landlords and the many uncertainties of tenancy can be a real turn-off. And in many urban centres the amount of rental inventory in nice neighbourhoods is low.
The Golden Years come with some heavy stuff…and perhaps they’re not as golden as we’ve been led to believe.
Act Together In Action

Act Together In Action

Anney-smallWe had our photos taken by the great Gregg Eilgh of Eligh Photographs last week when Patrick was in town for our Managers Retreat at Sidney All Care. We all needed updated headshots, and with Ting joining our management team we needed some great photos of the three of us.

Gregg knew how nervous we were, so he did his best to loosen us up and we ended up having a lot of fun! Thanks to Gregg for the wonderful job he did on our photos.

I positioned Ting strategically to hide my baby bump in this one.

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Here we are looking very corporate: The Act Together Moving Services management team.

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And this one…will probably not get a lot of use.

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Anney’s Closet on CBC

Anney’s Closet is a project that improves the lives of girls and women in Victoria by connecting people who have too much with people who have too little.beth n patty

Using household items donated by downsizing seniors, friends of Soroptimists, and other donors, we’ve created a “free store” in a storage locker kindly donated by West Shore U-Lock.

Girls and women who are referred to us from  advocates at our partner social service agencies have the opportunity to select items from Anney’s Closet that will transform their new apartments into functional and comfortable homes.

Volunteers work to sort and arrange donated items in the Closet, build relationships with social agencies and the community,  and help the visitors pick out items for their new home.

I was interviewed this week by Jo-Ann Roberts on her show All Points West on CBC. It was a great chance to spread the word about this amazing project. Click here to listen to the interview.

Moving Family: How to Make It Better

We are constantly inspired by our clients.They have lived through wars, depressions, revolutions and personal loss. When I say downsizing isn’t for wimps, I’m talking about this tough generation.
But when faced with having to give up personal treasures, collections and mementos from the past, even the toughest person can break down. Not only the sheer volume of stuff that needs to be dealt with can be terrifying, but the physical task of sorting, boxing things up and hauling them away is impossible to fathom.

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Emotional Drain
Then add in the emotional drain of losing everything they hold dear, piece by piece. Each personal item might hold heavy meaning that hasn’t been fully processed, or reinforce a past loss, or remind them of their failing health.
It’s common for us to see adult children get frustrated by their parent’s behavior during the downsizing process. It is often a struggle for family members to remain patient during this process and emotions can run high.

This Might Help
If you are helping someone to downsize, here are some ideas that might help when your frustration starts to bubble over.
  • Reflect on how this process is impacting your own sense of loss and identity, so that you can stay aware of your reactions. This might help you to remain calm and supportive rather than adding to the emotional turmoil in the house.
  • Keep visits positive and upbeat, and remind your parents that you are on their team and that you want the best for them.
  • if you feel yourself getting to the boiling point, change the channel. Pop out to your car to “grab something” and make a quick phone call to a supportive friend. Declare break time and make a cup of tea. Do something to lift your own mood.
  • Keep “sorting sessions” to under two hours. Emotional fatigue that stems from too much decision-making can lead to someone saying something they might regret.
If all else fails, call in objective downsizing professionals like Act Together Moving Services to consult. We’re trained to make this process go smoothly, and almost everyone behaves better when there is a guest in the house!