How can a clown inspire a new career?
Ask Bob and Roxanne Webster, owners of Caring Transitions in Placerville. The couple recently launched their local business that helps seniors who are moving, downsizing or liquidating their estates … all because of Roxanne’s father, a world-renowned master clown for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Glen “Frosty” Little died in 2010, leaving his family with the task of downsizing his Idaho estate and moving his wife to a smaller home.
It was overwhelming, the couple said. They needed help, and in their search Bob, 63, found Caring Transitions. The company, which has more than 150 franchises nationwide (most in the Midwest and South), provides logistical solutions for the elderly in transition and families dealing with the loss of a loved one.
“Everybody is going to go through this experience in their lifetime,” Bob said.
So impressed with the compassion and efficiency of Caring Transitions, the Websters became franchisees, opening an office in Placerville in October that serves the west slope of El Dorado County, Folsom and beyond.
Working with the clients, Roxanne, 59, said, “We try to get a feel for what’s important to them and what’s not.
“It’s very hard sometimes for people to realize how much stuff they have,” she added.
From that starting point, the couple and however many employees are needed get to work. Caring Transitions’ services include executing transition plans, locating and sorting personal belongings, inventorying, setting up estate sales and more. In many cases the sale of items helps offset the costs of Caring Transitions services.
“We want to provide as much service to the client as possible,” Bob explained.
That might include staging a home for an estate sale or decluttering. The Websters also refer their clients to independent and assisted living facilities, senior attorneys and moving companies. Though, Bob noted, the client and family make all final decisions; their job is to execute those plans.
The Websters retired from their former professions 10 years ago and have lived in Pollock Pines since 1980. Running Caring Transitions, Bob said, takes every skill they learned from prior professions — Roxanne was a merchant seaman for a while and Bob was in recreational marketing and a scuba instructor, among other things.
The couple attended Caring Transitions training. Roxanne said she really appreciated the company’s focus on compassion and “the amount of respect they have and that they want you to have for seniors.” They also learned how to deal with scam artists and nosy neighbors — unfortunate trouble spots in the business.
The highlight of the job, Roxanne said, is “contact with the client, learning their history and stories.” One of their client’s stories, that of longtime Placerville resident Ethel Forsyth, was shared in the Mountain Democrat.
Bob and Roxanne said they got into the business knowing they wouldn’t make a lot of money. Their motivation isn’t a quick dollar. “It’s about making connections with people who’ve had the same experiences (as the Websters),” Bob said.
For more information about Caring Transitions call (916) 583-7035 or (530) 303-3636 or visit caringtransitions.net.