One small act of kindness led to a new business for Kim Peterson and Shelly Erger.
“I was going into a convenience store to get my iced tea like I do every morning, and I held the door open for an elderly lady,” Peterson recalled. “She turned around to thank me and was so appreciative of that tiny gesture.
“At that moment it hit me — I had to do something to help seniors.”
After she got back to her car, Peterson immediately called Erger, her sister, to share her “aha moment.”
“Oh, my gosh, the same exact thing happened to me last week,” Erger told her.
After spending much of the past decade dealing with issues relating to their elderly parents, Peterson and Erger were left feeling unfulfilled in their respective careers — sales and education — and wanting more out of their lives.
They remembered how overwhelming it was trying to manage their parents’ estate while at the same time coping with all the emotions that come with illness, death and other life-changing events.
“It would have been nice to have someone come in and take care of it all,” Peterson said of moving her father to a nursing home. “We could have focused more on him instead of worrying about his stuff.”
In April, Peterson and Erger went to Caring Transitions’ corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“Everyone we talked to had the same moments that brought them there,” Peterson said. “We left feeling this is where we need to be.”
On July 1, they opened their own Caring Transitions franchise, specializing in senior relocation, downsizing and estate sales. Services include decluttering and staging to full and partial estate liquidation to moving oversight and preparation of the new residence.
“We know what our clients are going through because we’ve been there,” Peterson said. “We can do the dirty work so they can concentrate on the important stuff.”
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