Caregiver Entrepreneur Helps With Aging Parents, Grandparents

By Jennifer Sorentrue The Palm Beach Post, Fla.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Lauren Light's company "Next Step Relocation" handles everything from emergency pet care to staging homes for sale, to overseeing packing, purging and donating items. Light said she also helps decorate and setup new homes.

The Palm Beach Post, Fla.

Lauren Light is the founder and president of Next Step Senior Relocation, a company offering consulting and concierge services to seniors and their families looking to downsize to smaller homes or move to assisted living facilities.

Light launched the company this summer, after going through the difficult task of moving her grandmother from a three-bedroom home in Broward County to an assisted living facility in Lantana.

"There is a lot that goes into downsizing," Light said. "It is very overwhelming and emotional. After personally experiencing this with my own grandmother, as well as going through this many years ago losing my parents, I felt I would be wonderful at helping other families to do it too."

After her grandmother's move, Light said she was approached by friends and neighbors also looking for relocation help.

"I had a niche," Light said. "It came natural and I just loved being around seniors. I found myself hanging around the assisted living facilities more than I was at home and it was my calling."

Light's company serves residents of both Broward and Palm Beach counties, and handles everything from emergency pet care to staging homes for sale, to overseeing packing, purging and donation of items. Light said she also helps decorate and setup new homes.

Name: Lauren Light Age: 38 Hometown: Davie, Florida Where you live now: Suburban Lake Worth

About your company: Next Step Senior Relocation is a concierge-based company that is custom-based upon the needs of the client. We do anything from downsizing, to placement, to real estate services, to packing and planning, to unpacking and decorating the new residence. We will sell furniture, donate items, purge, ship, arrange for auto sales, or anything our client needs. We are a loving and caring team who takes great pride in what we do.

How your business has changed: My business changes based on the needs of my clients. The boom in assisted living facilities being built and the lack of available services for the elderly to downsize and live a more simplified lifestyle as they age inspired Next Step Senior Relocation to offer necessary services to clients to assist them in packing, home sales, purging, donating, furniture sales, estate sales, estate planning, and many other services. First paying job and what you learned from it: Pollo Tropical. I learned hard manual labor and how to speak a little Spanish. I learned integrity from the hard working employees that were earning a living to support their families, while I was just a 15-year-old kid earning spending money.

First break in the business: After the stressful move of my adored grandmother from a huge, cluttered, lived-in, three-bedroom townhome over an hour away from my own home, and a terrible family tragedy of my grandmother losing her husband and second child, I became the caretaker for her. My parents had passed when I was very young. I had no local family to assist me. After seeing what the undertaking and workload responsibility was to be a caretaker for a senior, plus being a single mother of four young children, I saw that there was an overwhelming need for many others. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and an overwhelming amount of love to offer families who are going through hardships. I knew I had to do something.

Best business book you ever read: I have always been inspired by people who have triumphed through tragedies and persevered to help others and David Pelzer is an author I have always admired. "A Man Named Dave" and "A Child Called It" were two books that touched me throughout my life and I admire his strength. Best piece of business advice you ever received: "Sell yourself." Thus far, this has been true. People who purchase a service prefer to know who they are working with and with my company, they do. I care. Each client means something to me. Their belongings, their stories, their lives, their families all leave an imprint with me. I do anything from assisting families to help move their family member to assisting families after their family member is no longer with them.

What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County: My business has endless possibilities. I love relationship building! My company is made to meet the needs of the clients it is serving. We help the elderly to move, whether it is packing and planning where they will go, to unpacking and furniture placement. We assist families who hire us from a distance to clear out a property filled with furniture. Realtors hire us to assist them to clear out the property so that they can close it for the family to sell.

What you tell young people about your business: No day is the same in my business. More than anything I suggest they cherish the elderly and listen to them because they are wise and have the most beautiful stories.

Where we can find you when you are not at the office: You can find me at the beach, cuddling my dogs, or enjoying time with my family and friends

Favorite smartphone app: Facebook What is the most important trait you look for when hiring? Kindness and a smile.

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