There aren’t many jobs where you get more than you give, but Jan and Danny Bateman believe they’ve found one.
The Leamington-based couple has spent the last five years helping seniors make the transition from home to apartment or retirement home living through their company, Batemans Make Your Move.
It’s a career the former owners of Batemans Stationary fell into by fate.
“We were at a memorial service and met someone who was doing this job in the Toronto area,” Danny said. “On the drive home we talked about it and began investigating the possibilities.”
The couple began on a small scale while still operating their store, but eventually closed the business and transitioned into the move.
“We had the store for 34 years and personal service was one of the things we were proud of,” said Jan. “This is a very personal business, so it appealed to us.”
The couple has recently started operating in Chatham and has been pleased with the response from the community, due mainly through word of mouth.
“People have checked us out and they know we’re experienced and we care,” Danny said.
In fact, the emotional aspect is one of the biggest parts of the business.
“Most people aren’t happy they’re moving” Danny said. “It’s often due to the death of a spouse or a health issue, so they’re really in a crisis situation.”
Those circumstances mean the couple often forms an immediate bond with their clients.
“When someone tells you, ‘now I can sleep at night,’ because you’re taking care of things, it means a lot,” Danny said. “We’ve had people say we’re their guardian angels. It makes us feel really good that we’re able to help at a time when they need us.”
The biggest service they provide is peace of mind.
“We tell people we can do whatever they need and we mean it. We’ve either done it before ourselves or we know someone who can do it,” said Danny.
From sorting possessions to shipping them internationally, no two jobs are the same, according to Jan.
“We’ve even gone so far as to cut the nails of one of our clients’ cats.”
Danny said the emotional aspect involves the clients’ families.
“There are times that family members are scattered around the country or even the world. They’d like to help but they just can’t from a practical standpoint. We stay in contact with them to give them some assurance that things are going well.”
Potential customers have even placed the Batemans’ in their will, stipulating that they handle disposal and disbursements of their possessions.
Danny said his advice to anyone considering downsizing is to do it while they can still make the choice.
“If you make the move before you have that fall or your health deteriorates, you have a lot more choice,” he said. “It makes it a lot easier if you can avoid a crisis situation.”
To reach the Batemans, either call 519-326-6554 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.