What We Do
Our team works with the moving companies to ensure your furniture is taken care of and placed exactly where you want it in your new home. We unpack the boxes, make the bed, set-up the coffee maker, and take care of the details so your new place feels like home beginning with your very first night.
Downsizing, Decluttering & Rightsizing
Our efficient expert organization team will help you categorize and organize your belongings to fit into a more comfortable lifestyle. Whether you are moving into a smaller home or trying to organize your current one, we are here to help.
Estate sales, auctions, tag sales, internet sales, donation & recycling. We have the experience and resources available to determine what course of action needs to take place in order to maximize returns.
Repairs & Maintenance
Big or small, at Overwhelmed How Can I Help, LLC, our team will help you take care of interior repairs and can oversee the general maintenance of your home during your transition.
Shipping, Storage, & Staging
We recommend and work with several moving companies depending upon your needs: staging, storing, local, or cross-country moves. Let us handle the details. We’ll make all the necessary arrangements.
At Overwhelmed How Can I Help, LLC, we provide additional services upon request. If you need assistance with change of address, phone, internet, hanging of pictures, etc., we are here to help make your transition as smooth and stress free as possible.
What Our Clients Say
Artfully Guided Our Parents
It is difficult to find the words to express our gratitude for the care and attention that Barbara and her crew exhibited while assisting my wife’s parents through an extremely trying chapter in their lives. We live out of state, and most of the preparation, as well as the physical move, was directed by her.
Having to relocate from their home of 46+ years, into an assisted living apartment, at the age of 90, and with dementia, was sometimes more than the York’s patience and understanding could bear.
We know that this is “what y’all do”—but observing how you “artfully guided” them through the minefield of “what to keep” vs “what to give to charity”—-to “what to submit to auction”, was at times, overwhelming for them.
Helping them to understand just what would “fit” into their new home as well as overcome the sense of loss they must have felt as they had to select which “treasures” to keep, and which to discard, requires the experience and empathy of seasoned professionals.
From the packing—to physically moving—to unpacking and establishing a new lifestyle in unfamiliar surroundings—Barbara and her crew share a special responsibility during this awkward transition for many older folks.
We gratefully thank y’all, and highly recommend your care and guidance to any family facing similar circumstances.
Read Our Blog
The holiday season brings excitement, togetherness and feelings of warmth and belonging for most of us. It’s a time to celebrate family and friends and be grateful for all we have. For seniors, though many share the same feelings we do, the holidays can be overwhelming, especially for those with dementia.
If you’re hosting an elderly friend or family member over the holidays, keep these tips in mind to help them enjoy their holidays to the fullest.
Be mindful of overstimulation. For those with dementia, and even some without it, overstimulation is a common concern. When there are too many people, too much noise and too many things going on, seniors can get overwhelmed. It can be hard for them to know what to focus on, challenging to hear with lots of commotion and difficult to recognize some people.
- Tips: Do your best to keep noise levels down, especially background noise like music and television. Consider giving everyone cute nametags to make conversation easier for seniors with memory impairment. And if it’s all just too much, take your loved one for a quiet stroll or offer a spare bedroom for a midday nap.
Realize that varying schedules and routines can be hard. Holidays aren’t usually scheduled like our typical days. We may sleep a little later or wake earlier to get cooking done. Mealtimes may vary, or we may do heavy hors d’euvres instead of a sit-down meal. Our routines are generally shaken up a bit, which for many of us is a welcome break. For seniors, though, it can be more challenging.
- Tips: Before the holidays, take a look at your elderly family member’s daily schedule and see how much you can maintain. Can you schedule meals at the same time? Could you travel during naptime to allow for their regular downtime? And make sure you remember to provide medication at their normal times.
Be aware of things that can cause stress. Being overwhelmed with holiday tasks and gatherings can cause anxiety in the lives of seniors. Traveling to unfamiliar settings can make them feel uneasy. Many worry about being able to handle all the decorating, entertaining and gift-giving tasks the holidays bring. When memory lapses and bodies slow down, everyday tasks can be more challenging.
- Tips: As your family is scheduling events, carefully choose locations. Would it make your loved one more comfortable to have the gathering at his or her home? To ease the stress you could arrange the food and have everyone bring a dish. Could someone go over early in the season and help with decorating?
With a little advanced planning, you can make the holidays bright for everyone, especially the seniors in your life.
If you know of anyone needing estate liquidation, decluttering, organizing or perhaps moving from or into an independent living, assisted living or memory care community, know that OHCIH can help with the transition. Please visit us on our web site www.OverwhelmedHowCanIHelp.com.
Blessings to all,
Barbara L. Stohlman
Dementia. It’s one of those terms that really frightens people. The idea of losing our memory or other faculties brings on so many feelings of vulnerability. Here is some background information, along with some true stories meant to provide insight and a glimmer of hope.
What is Dementia
The term “dementia” covers a range of diseases affecting the memory. While we most often hear about Alzheimer’s disease, there is also Lewy Body Dementia, frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia. In fact, there are over 80 documented types of dementia. However, just because someone occasionally has memory loss doesn’t mean that he or she necessarily has dementia.
Caring for Someone With Dementia
No matter the type of dementia, caring for someone with this diagnosis is challenging and often heart breaking. It’s overwhelming to be responsible for ensuring the safety, quality of life and activities of daily living for someone you love, and it can often leave you feeling alone and isolated. Time together can seem empty and hard to fill at times. So how can you retain that connection and remain close to your loved one? You can do it through the senses.
- Taste & Smell
Here are a few personal stories I would like to share with you.
Connecting Through Music
As your loved one progresses through the various stages of dementia, it can become more and more difficult to reach him or her or have meaningful conversations. One thing that seems to stick with people is their love and recognition of music. For one client, she and her husband shared meaningful time together every Saturday evening while watching The Lawrence Welk Show. This was a tradition they had carried out for many years, and she didn’t let it lapse as his dementia progressed. While he didn’t call her by name or share verbal memories with her, she found that he was relaxed and less agitated during their show time and that he was able to focus on it longer than most things. Consider what music your loved one has always enjoyed, and think about ways to share that music.
Triggering Memory With Pictures
Many people with dementia think they are an age much younger than they really are. You may hear people say their loved ones have “gone back.” They may think they are in their 20s still dating their sweetheart or in their 40s in the height of their careers. For one of our client’s children, it was very clear to them that their mother believed she was in her early 30s and that they were still small. She would talk to them about her little boy and baby girl…when in reality they were 53 and 49, respectively. Her loving family took the time to create a scrapbook of the times their mother remembered, when they were a preschooler and an infant. They could sit and talk to their mom about those days, as she could recall incredible details from back then. Despite the dementia, these children found a way to connect with their mom and make their time together happy and positive by following her mind instead of trying to bring her to the present.
Engaging the Senses
Another time I’ve seen my clients have positive experiences is when their families incorporate sensory activities. One family’s uncle loved the beach and spent a month in Florida every year for 40 years. When they visited with him, they brought a tub of sand and buried shells for him to sift through and find. The smile on his face said it all. Another grandmother sewed all of her life and donated clothes to children in need. She had always been a collector of fabrics. Her grandchildren put together a bin filled with fabric swatches. She’d carry them around the assisted living community she moved into and share stories of different clothing she’d made over the years. The goal here is to find what your loved ones liked prior to the dementia and engage their memories of the past.
Coping with a loved one who has dementia can be difficult, but finding small ways to connect can provide light during a dark time.
If your loved one is preparing for a transition or is moving into an assisted living or memory care community, you don’t have to weather it alone. Let’s see how we can help. Call or email us. We’re here every step of the way.
Barbara Stohlman, Founder
Overwhelmed…How can I help?
Taking the stress out of the transition.