Aging changes you physically as well as your perspective on what you require from technology and internet-based services.
There are relevant services that go far beyond the social media and dating sites to provide useful resources to Seniors and their needs.
Recently I celebrated my 60th birthday and it dawned on me…I am a senior citizen! As I reflected on my life, I pondered how technology will help me as I enter my golden years. Since I have spent most of my teaching how to use technology to others, I was accustomed to the fast pace at which technology evolves.
Unlike my parents I do not fear computers but embrace them, still something seemed off. At first, I could not put my finger on it but then I realized that although I was technically apt my needs were changing and what I needed technology to assist me with was also changing.
No longer were PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets my life. Online marketplaces satisfied the consumer in me while social media provided periodic updates on family and coworkers. What had changed was mine and my husband’s dependence on outside resources. We had always found ourselves dealing with the everyday trials of life; fixing things, moving things, and being the resource that others counted on to give that helping hand when needed.
What had changed was us, our physical abilities and newfound limitations had me thinking twice about physical chores around the house like moving furniture or cleaning out the garage. I now find myself questioning, should I do that? Is it safe? Do we need help…it was becoming clear that we now needed to depend on others (well at least some of the time).
So, I wondered what resources were available to us and how do I find them? This put me on a quest to search the web for services geared towards our aging population. The first revelation is that not all of us are looking for a date. Searching for Senior apps provided a deluge of dating sites but not much more. I needed to dig deeper and my quest to find meaningful technology and services for seniors had begun.
I decided to focus on reoccurring needs that were physical in nature, cleaning out the garage, moving bulky heavy items, arranging and moving furniture, or getting rid of unwanted items.My husband and I were downsizing and realized a lifetime of items had accumulated in our house.Our new home was smaller, so it was clear somethings had to go. I called local charities to have some items picked up and was astonished that our descent outdoor furniture set was not descent in the eyes of the charity. Who would have thought? This complicated things a bit because we not only downsized our home but our vehicles as well. Roomy but easy to drive became the priority, and comfortable was more important than sporty. Prime targets? Mini vans, small to mid-size SUVs and comfortable sedans. We ultimately went with the middle ground and chose a crossover.
Let’s face, the reality was that the outdoor furniture that the charity found less than desirable was not going fit into our new crossover, and even if we could lift it, we were certainly not going to try.My husband didn’t want to be seen as that guy struggling to put 10 pounds in a one-pound bag. Renting a truck might have worked but we were still stuck loading and unloading the items ourselves and as I discussed earlier, my husband nor I were no longer those thirty-something agile people of our youth.
What we needed was a strong helper with a truck to lift, load, and deliver our haul. However, most of my searches on the internet only identified large moving companies, truck rental companies or small local operators listed with some of the online marketplaces. Obviously, a big moving truck was expensive and vastly overkill. Not an option. The second option of renting a truck we ruled out earlier, which left me with the option of hiring a local service provider whose price was reasonable and advertised a pickup or box truck, both of which could do the job. The challenge, however, was that I did not know much about these local independent operators, whether they were properly insured or even safe to use. All legitimate questions I thought, for a senior to ask.
I considered just letting my waste company take it but that had its own issues. We were finding more and more limits on what we could dispose of and who knows how long it would sit at the curb for my neighbors to enjoy.
During my search I came across Haul Buddy, www.haulbuddy.com, a legitimate company that provided “small haul” services that uses a network comprised of neighbors who own trucks, vans and trailers to load and haul household goods. I found comfort in knowing that the company conducted thorough background checks and vetted all the drivers for safety. They also provided essential insurance coverages, which was an important part of my decision to use their service. Their website made scheduling the service easy and even had an option for an app for my smartphone to track and pay for services. It was like Uber but with pickup trucks.
Haul Buddy gave me the best of both worlds; low cost, with services sized to fit the jobs of the typical homeowner.Their service also provided the peace of mind knowing I was hiring a corporation rather than an individual. I also liked the convenience that the service provided by offering moving, delivery and haul away services in the same app.All services were on-demand which minimized the need for scheduling in advance and I could pay by credit card rather than waiving around a handful of cash.
Once I was aware of Haul Buddy, it became my go to solution for other needs over the following months. I ended up needing to move my parents not long after to assisted living, and I found the service very useful in getting rid of several items in their old house. In addition to using the service to move and deliver their sentimental and much needed items to their new assisted living home.
Even garage sales became more productive and much easier through delivery options that I could offer to buyers of my parents old furniture and big bulky items. As for that old outdoor furniture set? Haul Buddy was able to find a home for that too, as well as help haul away other unwanted items we could not sell or donate. I even felt good that some of the items were recycled and that on average only 40% of what they pickup goes to the landfill.
- Jennifer Logan, a retired teacher lives in New Mexico with her husband.
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