reSettling Life’s Treasures – Lladro Porcelain

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In honor of our upcoming auction, which includes over 50 of these figurines, we are discussing the unique pieces of Lladro porcelain.

Considering its large following and collectability, Lladro porcelain got its start relatively recently, in 1953. Three Lladro brothers, Juan, Jose, and Vicente, combined their artistic talents and started created plates, vases, and figures in Almassera, Spain. At the time, they found their inspiration in the other great ceramic artists throughout Europe.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that their signature look started taking shape. The brothers began experimenting with elongating the lines in their figurines, giving them a contemporary, more elegant look. They also switched from triple-firing to a single-firing technique that left the colors pastel instead of bright. In 1965, they brought this unique look to the U.S. for the first time. Their first U.S. gallery and museum was opened in 1988 on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and their second opened in 1997 on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Creating a Lladro figurine is not a quick process. Each piece starts with a picture, from which an artist sculpts a clay model. The model is reproduced roughly in alabaster, sculptors carve the intricate details to create the molds. This process alone can take up to five years.

Once the molds are complete, liquid porcelain is poured into molds representing different sections of the figurine. The exact formulas for Lladro porcelain is a closely guarded secret, but it includes feldspar, quartz, and kaolin. Different proportions of these components are used for different purposes. The pieces are assembled and painted after the porcelain dries and fired at 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. During the firing process, the more complicated and delicate figurines are supported with porcelain pieces to keep them from breaking in the kiln.

Each completed figurine is given a name in Spanish and in English; the names often have different meanings rather than the English one being a direct translation. The names of pieces are also often changed partway throughout the line, which can sometimes make them difficult for collectors to identify.

In addition to their recognizable figurines, Lladro makes other lines of porcelain:

·         Jewelry – necklaces, earrings, pins, hair clips

·         Lighting – table lamps, floor lamps, sconces, pendant lights, chandeliers

·         Home accessories – candleholders, vases, bowls, trays, teacups, salt and pepper shakers,            mirrors

Throughout the decades, Lladro’s subjects have included flowers, human figures, animals, and religious traditions. The 21st century brought with it new concepts, including pieces with a matte white finish, black-and-white creations, and pieces with bright colors rather than pastels, showing Lladro’s ability to progress and create new art.

Whether you prefer the muted pastels from decades past that made them recognizable, or the bright colors or monochromatic palettes of their more recent creations, Lladro figurines can make a unique collection. Check out our upcoming auction that includes Asian and Christmas figurines, and a piece of talismania jewelry from Lladro.

To view these beautiful items in part one of our upcoming auction, click here.

 

 

How to Know When Your Loved One May Need Assisted Living

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If you have a senior loved one living by themselves in the family home, it might be time to start talking about downsizing. They may just need a smaller place that is safer and easier to maintain, but if they need a little help with everyday living, one option is assisted living.

Look for Signs Inside the Home

If you don’t live nearby, schedule a time to go visit your loved one to see what condition the house is in. If you do live nearby, take a few extra minutes to look more closely. Before you even go inside, check the mailbox for mail that hasn’t been taken inside or newspapers that are still laying in the yard or driveway. These are signs your loved one may not be feeling well enough to pick them up each day, either physically or mentally.

Once inside, look for signs of disinterest in daily living, like unpaid bills, unopened mail, and unread magazines. If you find moldy or spoiled food in the fridge or lots of empty chip bags or candy wrappers, your loved one is probably not eating the way they should be to stay healthy. Expired medications can mean they aren’t being taken on a regular basis. Any of these issues could point to an underlying health issue that is keeping them from taking care of themselves, or it could be they are lonely or depressed.

Look for Personal Signs

Other indications of needing some help with regular tasks can be seen by looking at your loved one or talking to others. If the senior appears unkempt or disheveled, unshaven or unshowered, it may be that these daily tasks have become difficult for them to do on their own. Another small sign of struggle is they used to wear shirts with buttons and now they only wear shirts that pull over their head.

Your loved one may not tell you everything that’s going on with them because they don’t want you worry about them, but they are confiding in another, or someone else may notice things you don’t because you don’t see them on a daily basis. Talk to their friends or other relatives and see if they mention extra doctor’s appointments or times they have fallen. Their friends may mention they haven’t been attending church regularly or they no longer call to get together. A neighbor might have seen an ambulance at the house or realized your loved one doesn’t come outside as much as they used to. Again, these are all signs they may need some help.

If your loved one is in a place that is in good condition and on one floor, in-home care may be an option. Having someone check in on them daily to ensure they’re bathing, getting dressed, and eating on a regular basis can be extremely helpful, especially if you aren’t able to see them every day. However, if they need to downsize, assisted living can be a good option. It not only offers regular meals and limited assistance, it also provides social interaction that many seniors lack as they start to lose friends and relatives.

Keep in mind, assisted living does not provide full care or medical assistance. If your loved one requires constant care or is suffering from other more serious ailments that requires more specialized nursing care, they may need a skilled nursing facility. Assisted living communities differ in the amount of support they provide, and they offer consultations or evaluations before a senior becomes a resident to determine if they meet the requirements to live there. Don’t be upset if the consultant says it is not a good fit for your loved or that they need more care than the facility provides, it is better for them to be honest so you can find a place that has the appropriate level of care.

 

 

AMY WRIGHT AWARDED SENIOR MOVE MANAGER – CERTIFIED DESIGNATION BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SENIOR MOVE MANAGERS®

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The National Association of Senior Move Managers® is proud to award the Senior Move Manager~Certified (SMM-C) credential to Amy Wright of reSettled Life, Union, Ky.

The Senior Move Manager~Certified (SMM~C) credential is a three–year designation conferred on individuals who have demonstrated advanced knowledge and experience in the Senior Move Management profession. 

“NASMM’s SMM~C certification is the professional evolution of certification for Senior Move Management® professionals,” said Mary Kay Buysse, NASMM’s Executive Director. “While many certification programs only measure knowledge, the SMM~C requires experience within the profession to demonstrate proficient Senior Move Management service delivery.”

Individuals who obtain the SMM-C have elevated their professional standards and enhanced their individual performance while demonstrating the knowledge and experience essential to the Senior Move Management profession. 

About reSettled Life

reSettled Life is a senior transition and auction company serving Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and Southeast Indiana and is the only certified, full service senior move management company in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area. They help families move loved ones from their homes into smaller homes, senior-friendly communities, or nursing facilities. Services include organizing, packing, unpacking, resettling, and auctions. Learn more at www.resettledlife.com.

The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) is the leading membership organization for Senior Move Managers in the United States, Canada and abroad. NASMM is recognized for its innovative programs and expertise related to Senior Move Management, transition and relocation issues affecting older adults. NASMM members represent the most qualified and capable Senior Move Managers in this growing profession. For more information contact NASMM at 877-606-2766 or info@nasmm.org. Visit the NASMM website at www.nasmm.org.

 

 

 

Senior Living Options Explained

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Many seniors are not excited about the thought of moving, but sometimes it becomes necessary, whether it results from health issues, needing single-story living, or not being able to maintain a large home. Fortunately, there are many living options available to those 55 and over, making it easier to find a place where they can live comfortably and safely.

For Those Who Require Care

Two of the most common living options for those who require care are assisted living and skilled nursing communities. While most assisted living communities offer apartment-style living, with individual living quarters connected to the common areas by an interior hallway, some communities offer individual homes as well. Residents have their own kitchen, bath, living area, and bedroom, but they also have access to help when they need it, such as taking medications, bathing, getting dressed, or fixing meals. Assisted living also often provides transportation.

Skilled nursing communities, also known as nursing homes, provide care above and beyond what is available with assisted living. Doctors are usually on staff and make regular visits, while nursing assistants and nurses provide daily care to residents. Physical and occupational therapists are also on staff to help with rehabilitation and keep residents as physically and mentally fit as possible. All meals and snacks are provided based on medical condition and nutritional needs.

Another popular option for those who require care is in-home care. Instead of moving a senior to a new residence, a nurse visits daily or moves in to provide 24-hour care in the home. When considering this option, it’s important to find out if insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid will cover this type of care, or if there are funds available to pay for it out-of-pocket. Determining whether or not the resident can still live safely in the home, even with care, is also important. For example, even with full-time help, staying in a two-story home with no first-floor bedroom or bathroom is probably not be the best option.

For Those Who Don’t Require Care

Some seniors are quite capable of taking care of themselves, but would do better in a home without stairs, with less maintenance, or with others living around them. Loved ones in this situation would most likely do well in an active adult or independent living community. These communities can consist of single-family homes, condos, or apartments that can be either owned or rented. The common factor of these communities is they are for residents who are 55 or older. Depending on the location, style and age of residences, and amenities offered, these communities have various price ranges.

Because these communities are designed for senior living, they offer spaces that are easily accessible and activities that appeal to those 55 and over. Some are like little cities, with restaurants, workout facilities, golf courses, and swimming pools. Others have a community center where residents can meet for coffee or a potluck, or to watch a movie or play bingo. While most seniors in these communities are still able to drive, transportation to places ranging from the grocery store to an art festival is often provided. These communities offer social interaction with other seniors and a safe place to live.

For Those Who Like to Plan Ahead

Continuing-care retirement communities (CCRCs) can reduce the number of times a senior has to relocate and adjust to new surroundings. CCRCs provide different types of living options in one place. Seniors can start out in independent living, then progress to assisted and/or skilled nursing as it becomes necessary. The benefit to this type of community is knowing that the proper level of care will be available when needed without having to find a new place. The downside is this convenience and peace of mind often comes with a higher price tag.

Whichever living option makes the most sense, the move to a new residence can be made easier by hiring a senior move manager who can pack up and organize all of the belongings in the old residence and prepare the new place so it feels like home when the senior moves in.

Keeping Seniors Safe for the Holidays

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The holidays are a joyful, busy time of year. There is shopping to be done and cookies to be made, homes to be decorated and friends and family to visit. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, it’s important to stay safe and make sure your senior loved ones are doing the same.

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

While the Tri-State area doesn’t get nearly as much snow as places further north, we can still have days of freezing temperatures, ice and snow. If you are a senior living on your own, you should call a reputable heating and cooling company to have your furnace checked annually. You don’t want to find out it doesn’t work in the middle of a sub-zero night. Fireplaces should also be inspected before use.

Shoveling snow and de-icing the driveway and sidewalk is tough on anyone, but it can be dangerous for those with high blood pressure or a heart condition. If you have this type of medical condition, consider asking a family member for help or hiring a service or neighbor kid to do it for you. The same goes for hanging outdoor Christmas lights in the cold and snow – it’s better to be safe than sorry. For those who want to tackle these jobs themselves, make sure you have your cell phone handy in case you fall or need help.

Maneuvering the Malls

Indoor malls are a great place to get a little exercise when it’s too cold to walk outside. Go before the stores open to avoid the crowds and focus on your power walk, or walk through the stores and pick up some gifts along the way.

Unfortunately, thieves take advantage of this time of year, so be aware of your surroundings in the parking lot, mall area, and stores. Park as close as possible to an entrance and avoid deserted parking lots where thieves may be lurking. Keep your keys in your hand when you head to your car and carry your cellphone. If you think someone is watching you, give someone a call; and if someone is coming toward you, call mall security or the police. If you are making multiple stops, stow your packages in the trunk of your car or under a blanket so they are out of sight.

Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

With holiday get-togethers and family parties, it’s easy to over-indulge. It’s fine to give yourself a little leeway when it comes to dietary restrictions, but don’t overdo it by eating too much sodium if you have high blood pressure or too much sugar if you are diabetic. And be sure to think about any medications you take before consuming alcohol, especially if you will be driving home or will need to navigate a set of stairs before the night is over. Some medications react poorly when combined with alcohol.

Take Care of the Seniors in Your Life

Senior loved ones who have recently lost a spouse, are dealing with health issues, or have had to downsize from the family home may not be feeling too cheerful this holiday season. Ask your loved one if they want to talk about the changes that have occurred, but don’t push if it is too painful. Some people may want to honor the memories of someone they lost by carrying on the same traditions, while others may prefer to do something completely different.

Offering to host the family celebration can be a good change of pace, and it can relieve the stress on a senior dealing with health issues. For many older people, traveling by car or plane can be exhausting, so don’t plan a ton of physical activities; offer to let them nap, or spend some time looking through photo albums or listening to Christmas music together instead. Objects that you safely encounter every day can be tripping hazards for seniors. Put pets in a crate who may get underfoot and clear a path through the kids’ toys; remove slippery area rugs or those that could get caught in a walker or cane. For overnight guests, be sure to have adequate lighting from the bedroom to the bathroom so they can safely navigate at night.

Taking care of yourself and your loved ones will help keep this holiday season merry and bright!

 

 

reSettling Life’s Treasures - Hadley Pottery

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When you think of Louisville, horseracing, baseball bats, and Cardinals probably come to mind. But another lesser-known product of this proud city on the Ohio River is pottery made from the many clay deposits in the area. One of the many artists to embrace this natural resource was Mary Alice Hadley.

Even before Mary Alice was born in the early 1900s, her family was in the clay business, making clay tiles for use in homes and businesses. She initially expressed her artistic talent through painting, then decided to combine her personal skills with those of her family and started making clay dishware. Seeing her creations, friends started asking Mary Alice to make pieces for her, and in the mid-1940s, her husband, George, purchased a building in Butchertown that still serves as the M.A. Hadley headquarters today.

M.A. Hadley pottery is instantly recognizable by its gray background, blue band around the edge, and simple, yet whimsical design on each piece. There are many themes, each of which feature several different images. The country theme has farm animals, coastal has ships and marine creatures, seasonal has winter, Christmas, or Easter pictures, and western includes cowboys and cacti. Larges pieces, including casseroles, canister sets, and pie plates come in the same themes, and bowls, cups and dishes with different pictures are also available for children and pets.

Although it can be used for decoration, Hadley pottery is designed to be used. Its durability comes from the clay, which is over 250 million years old, and the process it goes through before being sold. Once a piece is shaped, the design is hand-painted on it, then a special glaze is applied through spraying or dipping. The pottery is fired only once at about 2100 degrees Fahrenheit, fusing together the clay, paint, and glaze. Painting the design on before the glaze – called “underglazing” – and using the one-step firing process helps ensure that the design will not wear off over time.

Because of our proximity to Louisville, online auctions and estate sales in the Tri-State area often feature Hadley Pottery, which makes starting a collection relatively easy and affordable. Whether you collect an entire set of one pattern or enjoy select pieces from different series, Hadley Pottery can be a wonderful addition to your home.

reSettling Life’s Treasures – White House Christmas Tree Ornaments

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In 1981, the White House Historical Association (WHHA) created an ornament in the shape of an angel. The angel was similar to the ones found on weathervanes in the area, including on the top of Mount Vernon, and was designed to honor the presidency of George Washington. Every year since, the association has created an ornament commemorating a past president or anniversary related to the White House. Special occasions that ornaments have represented include the bicentennials of John Adams moving into the White House in 1902 and founding of the American presidency in 1989. ChemArt Manufacturing in Lincoln, Rhode Island was selected to make the first ornament in 1981, and they have made every year’s ornament since.

Here are descriptions of some of the presidential ornaments from the past:

·         1984 – One of the earliest ornaments from the collection, this one is all gold and features Thomas Jefferson on one side and the words “peace and friendship” on the other.

·         1993 – This is the only WHHA ornament featuring a first lady. Julia Tyler, John Tyler’s second wife was 30 years younger than him and only lived in the White House for nine months because his term ended less than a year after they were married.

·         1994 – Depicts James Polk (1845-1849) and his wife listening to the Marine Band outside the White House

·         1997 – This ornament features another scene outside the White House, and is set during the time of Franklin Pierce’s presidency from 1853-1857.

·         2001 – Because Andrew Johnson frequently enjoyed carriage rides to unwind after a stressful day, this ornament shows him and his family in a carriage being drawn by a white horse.

·         2014 – The only official White House ornament that is two pieces, this one commemorates Warren G. Harding (1921-1923). Harding dreamed of being a train engineer as a child and loved riding on the Presidential Special, the same train that brought his casket from San Francisco back to Washington when he suddenly passed away in 1923.

This year’s ornament honors Franklin D. Roosevelt, our thirty-second president. The four stars across the top of the ornament signify his four terms in office and the gold eagle featured on the front is fashioned after the one that adorned the speaker’s podium at his first inauguration.

If you decide to start collecting White House ornaments or want to create a collection for a loved one, be sure to invest in the right ones. Many different companies and organizations sell ornaments honoring the White House, but the official ones are designed only by the White House Historical Association. These ornaments are beautiful to hang on your tree, but are even more valuable if you have the original box they came in. Each ornament also comes with paperwork that explains the significance of the event or president depicted on it. In addition to selling the current year’s ornament, the WHHA also offers some from previous years, and they can also often be found through online auctions.

Whether you decide to hang them on the tree or treasure them as a family keepsake, White House ornaments can be a beautiful addition to your holiday season.

Should You Talk to Your Parents About Downsizing Over the Holidays?

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Having the downsizing conversation is never easy for anyone involved. For both children and parents, it’s one more sign that the parents are aging, which is difficult to accept. One way to make it easier is to talk about it before the move becomes necessary. Ask your parents if they have thought about where they would go or what type of place they would like to live in next. Would it be a one-story condo near the water? Or a manageable apartment closer to you or one of your siblings? Laying this groundwork ahead of time gives everyone a chance to consider the options available before they have to become a reality.

Another way to make the talk go better is to be prepared. If you have siblings, ask them if they think it’s time. If not, really listen to their reasoning and see whether it changes your mind or not. If all of you aren’t on the same page, it may be best to wait and approach the subject later. Having one or more family members not on board before you even talk to your parent is not a good start.

Not only may you potentially be trying to convince your siblings and parents this is the right thing to do, you may be trying to convince yourself as well. People often feel guilty about bringing up the subject, even though they believe it will be better for their parents’ well-being. It also makes them face the fact that their parents are getting older and may soon be the ones needing help instead of the other way around. Take some time to deal with your own feelings so that you are ready to help your parent with theirs when you talk to them.

While you shouldn’t try to decide exactly where your parent should live before talking to them, you should think about some of the options that make the most sense to you. Do some research on several possibilities and even visit them if possible to make sure you still think they would be a good fit. There are so many choices when it comes to senior living nowadays that you’ll want to know what’s available and what they have to offer.

When you decide to talk with your parent, make sure you are completely vested in the conversation. Block out some time, go to your parents’ house, leave the kids at home, and focus entirely on the discussion. According to an article on caring.com,

      “One of the greatest challenges people in midlife face in their dealings with the elderly is to slow down       and find the time to be fully present. It's a mistake to discuss important issues on the fly, when you're         rushed and preoccupied. If you need to talk about something crucial with your parents, make a                     conscious effort to put your personal agenda aside -- along with your cell phone.”

Once you have given your full attention to the conversation, listen carefully to their responses. Remember that you are still the child and they are the parent. Don’t tell them what you think they have to do, talk about the options you have researched and answer their questions as best as you can. Talk about the benefits of a new place – if it’s smaller it’ll be easier to clean and maintain; in a condo there are fewer utility bills to worry about paying; in a 55-and-older community everyone is around the same age, making socializing easier; they provide transportation to the grocery store, doctor, and other outings so driving isn’t an issue. Offer to go see a few different places together, but respect your parents’ wishes if they don’t want to yet.

Being respectful of your parent’s feelings and offering to work together with them to find the right solution is a better approach than trying to take charge. Through open communication, you may both discover they’ve been wanting to move closer to you, or the upkeep of the current home is a burden, or staying in the place where a spouse or several neighbors no longer live is actually depressing. Then it’s time to take the next step. However, if that isn’t the case, don’t continue to push the subject until it becomes an argument. Allow some time for everyone to think it over and try again later to work together toward the right solution.

 

 

 

 

Helping a Senior Loved One Relocate – Part III

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In the previous two parts of this series, our fictional daughter, Lisa, has prepared her mom for the idea of moving, discussed where her mom would like to move, and sold the family home after getting it organized and emptied. Now Lisa is facing the actual relocation of her mom to her new place.

Lisa’s mom decided she wanted to be closer to her grandchildren who live in a different state, so she is moving to an independent living facility near Lisa and her family that they found together. Because the trip will be more than a few hours, they have to decide whether they should drive or fly.

Driving vs. Flying

This decision will be based on how the senior prefers to travel. If they have never been on a plane before, which is more common than you might think, they may be more comfortable riding in a car, even though it will mean a longer trip. Taking pets and certain personal belongings will also be easier by car instead of plane.

Be sure to make reservations at a hotel with proper accommodations if your road trip will require an overnight stay. Find a room that is wheelchair accessible if your loved one is no longer mobile; ensure there are grab bars in the bathroom to keep them steady, and try to book a room that is close to the lobby or elevator to minimize the amount of walking needed.

If the senior is comfortable flying, pack all medications in their carry-on or yours, even if it won’t be needed during the trip. This will avoid having to get prescriptions refilled quickly in a new location if checked bags are lost or delayed. Most airlines will make special accommodations for those who have a hard time walking or getting around, so ask them about special gate passes or transportation within the terminal ahead of time.

Getting Your Loved One Settled in

Moving out of necessity isn’t nearly as exciting as moving into your first home or dream home, so your loved one may not be looking forward to it. Having their new place ready before they arrive will make it more inviting.

If you are unable to set up the new space, consider hiring a Senior Move Manager (SMM) to do it for you. An SMM can design a layout based on the belongings the senior is bringing with them and the floorplan of their new residence. They will arrange the furniture, unpack and break down boxes, put kitchen items in cabinets and drawers, make beds, and hang pictures on walls to help the new space feel like home.

Moving is an adjustment, no matter what age you are, but taking the proper steps can help smooth the transition for your loved one.

Helping a Senior Loved One Relocate – Part II

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In the first part of this series, we found Lisa faced with the difficult task of preparing to move her mom who was having a hard time safely navigating stairs and maintaining her 50-year-old home.

Now that Lisa has set the groundwork by talking to her mom about moving and organizing a lifetime’s worth of belongings, it’s time to find a new, more manageable place and sell the family home.

Finding a New Home for Your Senior Loved One

Based on their earlier conversation, Lisa can now help her mom start looking for a new place in the location she wants to be and with the amenities she wants or needs. Based on her mother’s health and ability to live on her own, she may be looking for a smaller, single-story home, condo, or senior living community. Another option they may have previously discussed was having her move in with Lisa or another family member. Senior placement specialists are available across the country and can help find the perfect place for a loved one, often at no charge to the client.

Once the new home has been selected, announcing the new address may help the move seem more positive. In addition to the standard change of address forms needed for banks, Medicare, investment accounts, social organizations, and subscriptions, encourage the your loved one to send cards to friends and relatives with their new address and anticipated move date.

Selling the Family Home

Selling the family home isn’t only hard on the individual moving out, it is often also difficult for the adult children and grandchildren who have also made memories there. In the case of Lisa, who is an only child, she has only her mother’s emotions and her own to take into account. In families with multiple kids, some may be able to easily part with the home while others are more attached and less willing to sell. Taking pictures of the interior and exterior of the home before it is sold and putting them in an album can help those who are having a hard time letting go and be a good reminder to seniors that they will always have their memories, no matter where they live.

The best way to move toward selling the home is to find a realtor who is familiar with the area and preferably has experience in selling seniors’ homes. They will have knowledge of the current local housing market, be able to assist in determining a list price, and even offer suggestions for potential updates that may make the home more attractive to buyers.

It is almost always beneficial to have the house organized and decluttered before listing it for sale. This can be time-consuming, especially if most of the immediate family lives out of town and is only available for a couple days here and there as their schedules permit. Using a senior move management company  ensures the home is ready to be shown by a given date and belongings are packed and removed on schedule by a professional mover. Their downsizing process includes organizing and categorizing everything in the home, moving belongings to be kept to the senior’s new home, and eliminating unwanted items through auction, donation, or purging.

In most situations, it’s best if the loved one can be moved into their new home before the old house goes on the market. They won’t be faced with strangers going through their home, which is difficult psychologically, and they won’t need to find somewhere else to go during showings, which can be difficult logistically.

In Part III, we’ll talk about actually moving your loved one and getting them settled into their new home.

Helping a Senior Loved One Move – Part I

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Lisa, an only child, had become concerned about her mom living alone in the home she grew up in. It was over 50 years old and was starting to require quite a bit of maintenance. Recently a supply line to an upstairs toilet had burst, causing extensive water damage on the first and second floors and forcing her mom to deal with claims adjusters, contractors, and having her house become a construction zone for weeks.

On top of that, her mom had been having dizzy spells and was becoming unsteady on her feet, an especially dangerous situation for someone living in a two-story home with a basement laundry room. Lisa knew it would be much safer for her mother to be in a newer single story condo or apartment where she wouldn’t have to worry about home maintenance or navigating two sets of stairs on a daily basis, but she also knew how much her mother loved her home and all of the personal items she had collected throughout her lifetime.

Expressing her concern for her mother’s well-being and discussing a possible move without upsetting her was almost more daunting than the thought of finding a new place and getting the family home ready to sell.

Helping a senior loved one prepare for a move has both an emotional and physical aspect, and it’s important not to neglect either part. In this article, we discuss setting the groundwork for an eventual move and preparing for the move.

Planning Before the Move Is Necessary

If possible, start talking to your loved one about the possibility of relocating long before the move is needed. Talk about where they might like to live, whether it be in the same area, closer to kids or other relatives, or a different climate. Having this conversation ahead of time ensures your loved one can be part of the decision-making process instead of potentially feeling like they are being told what to do.

Help them start thinking about what might need to be done to the house for it to be ready to sell. Are there items that might hold up an inspection if they aren’t repaired, or can a few inexpensive updates increase the home’s appeal? Have a realtor come see the home and do an assessment as to the current market price and demand for similar homes in the area.

Preparing for the Move

Create a calendar and make it available to your loved one so they know what’s going on and how the move is progressing. Having actual dates for each part of the process can help them prepare for the upcoming events and solidify the fact that the move is actually occurring.

Some items can be easily replaced if they become lost during the move, while others can’t. Before the move occurs, encourage your loved one to organize their important information such as life insurance policies, financial information and estate planning documents, and put them in a safe place, like a lockbox. You can also offer to keep them at your home during the move if they are comfortable with it.

Medical information should also be kept readily available in case a physician needs to be contacted. And prescriptions should be filled and kept with you or your loved one so they are readily accessible when needed, instead of packed into a box that looks like all the other ones.

Organizing a lifetime worth of belongings and deciding what should or shouldn’t move to the new place is often overwhelming. Make sure the senior is still taking care of themselves during this process by continuing to eat, rest, and take medications. Also, be there to offer emotional support in case they get upset, start having second thoughts about the move, or just want to share some memories. If you decide to use a senior move management company who is insured and bonded, their employees can be left alone to sort and pack, which allows your loved one to go out for doctor’s appointments or just to get away from the situation for a little bit.

Starting the conversation and getting ready for the move earlier rather than later will give both you and your loved one time to process the idea of them moving and to prepare so the eventual move doesn’t feel forced or rushed.

In our next post, we’ll talk about helping your loved one find a new place that fits their needs and the actual sale of the house. a long-distance move, and settling into their new place.

The Differences Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

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As senior move managers who work with seniors and their families, we come in contact with many people who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia. These words are often used interchangeably when in fact they are two different things. In this blog, we’re discussing the differences between the two and some common myths about both.

Dementia

Dementia is not an actual diagnosis. Instead, it is a collection of symptoms that affect someone’s ability to function on a daily basis, remember things or communicate effectively. There are several types of dementia and Alzheimer’s is the most common type, causing 50%-70% of dementia cases, according to the CDC. Other diseases that can cause dementia include Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, and vascular disease.

Other situations can cause dementia-like symptoms and can be reversed. For example, a thyroid condition or vitamin deficiency can cause memory loss and affect the ability to communicate, but resolving these issues can allow a patient to return to normal.

Common signs of dementia at the earlier stages include forgetfulness, being late and getting lost or confused in familiar settings. Dementia sufferers may start asking the same questions over and over, stop taking care of themselves, or have trouble remembering names or faces.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a disease in the brain that progressively affects memory and cognitive ability.  Protein deposits form and disturb the connections between brain cells, causing the ones that are cut off to die. The deposits most often start in the area of the brain that controls memory, language and thought, which is why memory loss and lack of communication are so prevalent in Alzheimer’s patients.

Symptoms of this disease usually appear after age 60, but the damage has been occurring years before the first symptoms are noticeable. After symptoms appear, the average life expectancy is eight years, but actual cases vary widely. There are no known cures for Alzheimer’s, only drugs that slow its progression in certain patients. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Myths

Dementia is just part of aging – While memory loss tends to increase in some people as they get older, not everyone over a certain age has dementia. If it truly was part of the normal aging process, everyone in their later years would be forgetful and have trouble communicating. This obviously isn’t the case.

Only old people have dementia – Unfortunately, people as young as in their 30s have been found to have symptoms of dementia, and early-onset Alzheimer’s can develop in a person’s 50s.

People with dementia don’t know what’s going on or what they want – The part of the brain that controls awareness is separate from the communication portion. So, those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s may know exactly what’s going on or what they want, they just can’t communicate effectively.

One of my parents had Alzheimer’s so I will too – While there may be some genetic connection with dementia and Alzheimer’s, only 5% of cases are familial, meaning there was more than one diagnosis in a particular family.

Alzheimer’s is caused by using aluminum pans, ingesting aspartame, having silver fillings, and getting flu shots – Theories about what causes Alzheimer’s are popular because it gives people hope that if they avoid certain things they can avoid ever having Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, there is no evidence proving that any of these causes are legitimate, which means there is no way to guarantee you will never have the disease. However, as with most health-related issues, eating right and staying mentally and physically active may help deter the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

If you suspect a loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, meet with a specialist who can make that determination and help you decide the best course of action.

 

The Most Important Conversation Is Also the Most Difficult

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The statistics regarding how many people think having an end-of-life plan is important and how many actually have one aren’t good, but they also aren’t surprising. Just thinking about the end of your life or the end of a loved one’s life is hard enough; talking about it can seem nearly impossible. How do you ask an older relative what they want the end of their life to look like? How do you bring up your end-of-life wishes to your children?

Because of our desire to avoid this uncomfortable and seemingly morbid topic, no matter which side of the conversation we’d be on, people are not experiencing the end of their life the way they want. Not having a plan is not only hard on the person who is reaching the end, it is also more difficult for family members who are left guessing, and even arguing, about the best course of action.

In an effort to encourage people to talk about end-of-life wishes, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) created The Conversation Project.

The Conversation Project encourages people to talk to others about their end-of-life wishes long before they near the end of their life. And even though the name implies there is only one conversation, IHI makes it clear that many conversations should be held about this topic because it’s important, there is a lot of information to cover, and people’s wishes may change over time.

End of Life Decisions to Be Made

When people think of end-of-life wishes, many think about what hymns they would like played at their funeral, whether they want to be buried or cremated, or who will inherit their belongings. But there are many decisions to be made regarding your life before pass away.

Medical wishes

·       If you have a disease, how aggressively do you want it to be treated?

·         How much do you want to know about your diagnosis? Do you want your doctor to estimate how much time you have left or would you rather not know?

·         How much say do you want to have in your treatment? Do you want to make the decisions or do you want your doctors to decide?

·         Where do you want to spend your final days, in a facility or at home?

·         At what point do you want your care to switch from trying to cure you to making you comfortable?

Family Involvement

·         Do you want your family to strictly follow your wishes, or do you want them to do what seems best in their opinion?

·         Do you want to be alone when the time comes, or do you want to be surrounded by family if possible?

·         Do you know who you want to make medical decisions on your behalf if or when you become unable to do it yourself?

These are just a few of the many topics that should be addressed before it’s too late to have the conversation.

Resources to Help Get the Conversation Started

The Conversation Project offers a free starter kit that can be downloaded from their website or ordered as a printed copy. This valuable resource can help you decide the most important topics you want to cover, who you want to include in the conversation, and when and where the discussion should take place. Their website also includes personal stories and articles from people who are involved in the project or have experienced the end of a loved one’s life.

Local groups are also bringing this issue to light through seminars and expert panels. Residents of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati can attend these local Conversation Project events in the near future:

     October 5, 2017 -  6:00-7:30p.m. “Candid Conversations” Brookdale in Edgewood, KY

     November 9, 2017 – 5:30-8:00p.m. “The Conversation – It’s Never Too Early Until It’s Too            Late” First Baptist Church in Cold Spring, KY

reSettled Life is a proud supporter of this cause and believe strongly that these conversations are very beneficial. Amy Wright, owner and founder, recently emceed “Conversations That Matter” in Boone County and the company will have a vendor table at the “Candid Conversations” event in October.

When end-of-life wishes are known, loved ones can leave this life as they desire and allow their families to celebrate how they lived.

 

reSettling Life’s Treasures – Barbies

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The first Barbie was introduced at the American Toy Fair in 1959. She was created by Ruth Handler, whose husband, Elliot, was the “el” in Mattel. Ms. Handler named the doll after their daughter, Barbara. The doll was available with blond or brunette hair, wore a white and black striped swimsuit, and had blue eyeshadow. These original dolls, which had holes in the bottom of their feet so they could be put on a stand, are very valuable today, with one recently selling for $27,000.

Even from the beginning, Barbie was a fashionista. Over 20 outfits were available in the first year of production, including career clothing for an airline stewardess, nurse and ballerina. The ability to have multiple outfits for the same doll made Barbie different from the teen dolls being sold overseas. Three of the outfits were discontinued the following year, making them very valuable now, and six new ones were added.

There are three different lines of Barbies that people collect—vintage, collector, and playline—and each line has a certain trait that makes them collectable.

Vintage – Vintage Barbies were made between 1959 and 1973. After 1973, Mattel was sold to new owners who changed Barbie’s look, including making her a perpetual blond. Vintage Barbies are some of the most expensive ones to collect. If you decide to collect this era of Barbies, be sure you are buying truly vintage dolls. Many people think a doll with “1966” stamped on the bottom of one foot is automatically vintage, but this date is actually the year that particular body style was patented and can be found on much more recent dolls. Dolls from 1966 also have a patent stamp on their back sides.

Collector - Collector Barbies are exactly what their name implies—they are made to be collected. There are several lines of collector Barbies. Shero Barbies depict women who have broken boundaries and are positive role models for young girls. This line includes the likes of Gabby Douglas, Trisha Yearwood and Kristin Chenowith.

Silkstone Barbies resemble fashion models with their elaborate clothing. They are made from a harder, lighter-colored plastic to give the look of porcelain. Other collectable Barbies include characters from movies, like the recent Wonder Woman movie, and those made by famous designers. Perhaps the most expensive Barbie ever sold was designed by Stefano Canturi in 2010. The doll had pink and white diamond-studded jewelry and sold for $302,000, which was donated for breast cancer research.

Playline – This line of dolls was, and still is, manufactured to be played with by children. But that doesn’t mean you can’t collect them. Many people enjoy collecting this line because they remind them of their childhood and they are affordable. Playline dolls from the 80s and 90s still in their original packaging can be purchased for a reasonable amount.

While it would be impossible to collect one of every type of Barbie ever made, you can work toward collecting Barbies from a certain era or line. Or simply collect those dolls that appeal to you, whatever the reason. After all, it is your collection.

 

 

 

reSettling Life’s Treasures – Rookwood Pottery

With the Western and Southern Open currently being held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, this seems like the perfect time to talk about pottery. For those unfamiliar with this particular tennis tournament, these two things may not seem like they go together, but they do.

Rookwood Pottery was founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols in Cincinnati. During this time period, women were not allowed to paint on canvas but they could paint on ceramic or pottery, so Ms. Nichols started the first female-owned manufacturing company in the United States as an outlet for her own creativity.

The earliest Rookwood Pottery pieces were heavily influenced by Japanese and European art. Then in the early 1900s, the artists embraced the up-and-coming arts and crafts and art nouveau styles. By 1905, Rookwood was offering a production line of pottery that was still made by hand, but was only glazed, not hand-painted.

Today, Rookwood Pottery pieces range in value from hundreds to thousands of dollars, with the higher prices being mostly reserved for the vintage, hand-painted pieces. The company makes a variety of pottery including tiles, vases, figurines, coasters, frames, homewares.

As with jewelry , a lot can be learned about a piece of Rookwood pottery by looking at the markings found on the bottom. A backwards R followed by a P became the Rookwood mark. For the next 14 years, one flame was added to the mark each year, so pieces within this time period can be easily dated based on the number of flames present. When there was no more room for flames, the company chose to keep the mark with the 14 flames and signify the year it was made with Roman numerals below the mark.

If a piece was hand-painted or hand-sculpted by an artist, their initials can be found on the bottom. This mark is also called a cipher. You can even tell who applied the finishing glaze on some pieces based on the location of a “finisher’s dot” in relation to the other marks. A dot of darker glaze to the right of the company mark might signify one finisher, while a dot to the left might signify another.

Other marks on the bottom of a piece include shape numbers, size marks (A is the largest, F is the smallest), clay type, and whether the piece was a trial piece (T) or was imperfect (X).

But what does pottery have to do with tennis? When the first Western and Southern Open was held in 1899, Rookwood Pottery created the winner’s trophy. Then over 110 years later, in 2010, Rookwood was again asked to design the trophy to emphasize the tournament’s connection to Cincinnati. Rookwood has been providing the trophy every year since, and it is now called the Rookwood Cup.

Today, spectators can take home their own mini Rookwood Cup as a memento from the tournament. Only 1000 replicas are made each year and they are available exclusively at the matches.

If you have a piece of pottery that you have inherited or purchased, turn it over and take a look at the markings on the bottom. You just might be the proud owner of a piece of Cincinnati history.

 

Fast-Growing reSettled Life Welcomes Its Newest Team Member

Northern Kentucky Senior Move Management Company Hires Sales Director

Union, KY (July 10, 2017) – reSettled Life continues to increase its presence in the senior move management industry throughout Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati with the hiring of a much-needed sales director.

Jane Young brings over 30 years of sales experience to reSettled Life, most recently as the sales manager for Brookdale Senior Living Solutions in Edgewood, Kentucky. About her new role, Ms. Young says, “Until now, my position with Brookdale was certainly my most fulfilling. I have a passion for helping seniors and their families find the perfect place to call home. Joining the team at reSettled Life enables me to take the skills I have acquired in a slightly different direction, helping families with this often-difficult transition so they can focus on what really matters.”

The need for a sales director has arisen from the incredible growth reSettled Life has experienced since opening its doors in 2016. Owner and founder Amy Wright explains: “We defied the odds in 2016 by being profitable in our first year, and business is continuing to increase at a rapid rate. We have nearly tripled the number of senior moves we manage each month and doubled the number of auctions we hold for our clients. The time was right for us to hire a sales director so I can focus my attention on other parts of the business.”

In her new role, Ms. Young will be increasing the relationships between reSettled Life and senior communities in Northern Kentucky and the greater Cincinnati area.

About reSettled Life

reSettled Life is a senior transition and auction company serving Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and Southeast Indiana. They help families move loved ones from their homes into smaller homes, senior-friendly communities, or nursing facilities. Services include organizing, packing, unpacking, resettling, and auctions. Learn more at www.resettledlife.com.

reSettling Life's Treasures- Slag Glass

Much like the depression glass we discussed in a previous post, slag glass is often found in homes as a collection or a few treasured pieces, despite its slightly unappealing name.

Slag glass gets its name from one of the components in it. Early manufacturers of this type of glass would add the waste content of metal ores from iron-smelting works, or “slag,” to their molten glass to create swirls of color within it. These swirls gave the glass a marbled look, and people often refer to slag glass as “marble glass.” Some companies achieved a similar look by mixing two colors of molten glass. The end result is often called “mosaic glass.”

It is believed that slag glass got its start in England, which remained the main manufacturer of this type of glass in Europe. It caught on in the U.S. and was made by several companies, mainly located in Pennsylvania, including H. Northwood Glass Co., Challinor Taylor & Co. and Atterbury. Another company that came to be known for slag glass was Akro Agate, which made a name for itself in the early 20th century with its unique swirled marbles made by their patented process.

Slag glass has been around since the late 1800s and became very popular in the early part of the 1900s, during the arts and crafts period. One of the most common uses for this type of glass at that time was in lamps because the white or off-white swirls within the color allowed the light to shine through. Tiffany lamps made with leaded stained glass were in vogue, but many people could not afford them because they were expensive to make. Companies started using slag glass fit into metal frames to create similar-looking lamps but at a much lower cost, making them available to more people.

Rather than being blown, slag glass is pressed into the desired shape. In addition to lamps, it frequently appears in vases, bowls, figurines and candy dishes. Chunks of this unique glass are also often used as a decoration on outdoor patios and in gardens where the sunlight accents the swirled pattern. Purple is by far the most common color, and was one of the original colors created by Sowerby in England, but it can also be found in blue, pink, green, red and various shades of brown.

Slag glass is still manufactured today, and many people enjoy collecting it because of its beautiful colors and unique patterns.

reSettled Life Partners with a Place for Mom

The senior move industry is only about 25 years old and as a result is relatively unknown, particularly in the Midwest. Getting the word out about what we have to offer is one of the hardest parts of being a small business in this field since we dedicate the majority of our resources to serving our clients. reSettled Life is hoping to reach even more seniors and their families in the Tri-State with our brand-new listing on A Place for Mom.

Since 2000, A Place for Mom has been helping seniors and their families by connecting them with senior services and housing in their area. The company employs over 400 senior advisors across the country who speak to the senior or a family member before making recommendations for assisted living or full-care facilities. This service is offered to clients free of charge.

In addition to this hands-on service, the website is full of helpful information about elder care law, senior health and dementia, paying for senior care, and senior moves. Local trustworthy companies such as reSettled Life are included in this information at no cost to the customer or provider. As one of the few senior move managers in the area, and the only one to offer in-house auction services with a licensed, professional auctioneer, we are excited to have our listing included in this well-known national network of providers helping seniors in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

reSettling Life’s Treasures – Dolls

Dolls evoke a wide range of emotions in people, from those who find them endearing to others who find their realistic, miniature features disconcerting. Those who love them often end up collecting them for a variety of reasons.

Some collections are started somewhat by accident. People often keep the dolls they played with as a child for sentimental reasons. Then when a family member passes, they inherit their childhood dolls as well. Before they know it, these doll owners are deemed collectors by friends who give them their dolls, knowing they’ll have a good home.

Period dolls appeal to history buffs and may be collected for that reason. Some collectors seek out dolls all made in a certain decade; others don’t care so much about when the dolls were made, but more about the era they represent through their hairstyles and clothing.

Many collectors seek out dolls that were made in a certain country or by a specific manufacturer, while others’ collections are comprised of dolls that represent countries they have visited or have an interest in.

If you have inherited a few dolls, or an entire collection, you can learn more about them in a few different ways. The era in which a doll was made can range from antique to vintage to modern. People are often surprised to discover dolls from the modern period are just as valuable and collectible as antique dolls.

The type of material used to make the doll can be a clue as to when your doll was made, although some of the materials cross over several decades.

·         Porcelain or bisque – Like many other household items, before unbreakable products were invented, dolls were made of porcelain. Oftentimes their arms, legs and head were porcelain and the bodies were stuffed fabric. Facial features were hand-painted on each doll, as was the hair in most cases. Porcelain was the most common material used in dolls until the 1870s, but it is still used today to create decorative dolls more than ones to be played with.

·         Celluloid – Although it sounds space-age, celluloid actually became a popular doll-making material in the 1870s. While it could still be crushed or cracked, it was more durable than porcelain and was much less expensive to manufacture. This material was also very flammable.

·         Composition – Composition dolls started being produced in 1910. The combination of glue and sawdust used to make this product was more affordable and easier to mold than celluloid. Dolls were often completely made of composition with jointed limbs, but larger ones can be found with composition arms, legs, and heads and fabric bodies, which helped reduce the weight of the dolls. This product was fairly susceptible to water damage.

·         Vinyl – Still the most popular product used in doll-making today, vinyl dolls started making an appearance in the 1950s. They replaced the composition and hard plastic dolls, giving children a toy that was softer and more pleasant to touch. Unlike previous dolls that had to essentially wear wigs to have hair, vinyl dolls have hair inserted directly into their heads, making it less likely their hair would come off.

To identify a doll, start with labels in clothing or on shoes, or any packaging that might be with it. Next, look for marks on the head, neck, torso, or bottom of a foot for a manufacturer’s name or trademark. Some older dolls may have the country of origin stamped on them, and antique dolls may have a mold number you can look up in a collector’s book. If you can’t identify a doll on your own, seek out a collector who might have found a similar one with its packaging or original clothing intact.

It used to be that collectors sold dolls based on a value printed in a book or a prior sale, but because of the internet, values of dolls vary greatly today. Now value doesn’t just depend on the condition or age of the doll. Those sold online by sellers with a solid reputation earn more than those sold by an individual. The quality of the photos posted can also affect the price. Pure luck plays a role too, as online sales are often based on who happens to see what you’re selling and whether or not they’re interested.

Whether you made a conscious decision to become a doll collector or inherited a collection from a family member, it can be a fascinating hobby.

 

 

 

reSettling Life's Treasures- Jewelry Markings

Even if you aren’t a collector, there is a strong chance you own some jewelry. During our senior moves, we often come across pieces with marks on them. These markings can actually tell you quite a bit about the piece if you know how to decipher them.

Any type of mark on a piece of jewelry is called a “hallmark,” and they are generally found in the same place on similar pieces. Rings will be stamped on the inside of the band, marks on necklaces and bracelets are generally on the clasp, and pins, earrings and brooches will be marked on the back. Don’t be surprised if you don’t find any marks at all. While jewelers are required to disclose the type of metal used, it does not have to be marked on the jewelry itself. This information can be included on a receipt, appraisal or even the price tag, all of which easily become separated from the jewelry or lost.

The mark most commonly found on jewelry is the purity mark, which tells what type of metal is in it. Gold is often expressed in karats and other metals are measured in percentages. The purest gold is 24 karat gold. It is rarely used in jewelry because of its softness. Lesser karats mean the gold has been combined with other types of metals. For example, 22 karat gold is about 92% gold and 8% something else such as copper, silver or palladium. As the karats go down, so does the value of the gold. If you have a piece of gold jewelry stamped “carat,” that doesn’t mean it’s misprinted or counterfeit, the piece was made somewhere other than the U.S. or Canada.

Sterling silver (SS) is the name of the purest silver used in jewelry. To be sterling, a piece must be over 90% silver. Other designations used on silver pieces are “silver-plated” and “EPNS” (electro-plated nickel silver). Jewelry designated as “nickel silver” does not contain any actual silver, it is just silver in color. A three-digit number on silver jewelry tells how much silver is in it. For example, “925” means the piece is 92.5% silver, so it is sterling. These three-digit numbers are also sometimes used on gold jewelry in place of karats.

Other purity marks you may find on jewelry include:

·       GF or GP – gold-filled or gold-plated

·       Vermeil – sterling silver with gold plating

·       Plat or PT – at least 95% platinum

·       Pall – at least 95% palladium

Your piece of jewelry may be able to tell you more than what it’s made of. A signature mark tells you who the manufacturer of the piece was. Just as the logos of well-known brands like Coke or KFC change over the years, jewelry makers often change the style of their signatures, so these marks can also give you an idea of when the piece was made. If the piece was made as part of a limited series for a retailer, a mark may signify that as well.

Very unique jewelry designs are often patented, and the patent number can appear right on the piece. U.S. patent numbers can be searched through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website and can provide a wealth of information, including the designer and when and where the piece was created.

If a piece of jewelry has gems in it, the weight of the gems may be stamped on it. If two numbers appear, the first number is likely the size of the largest gem (the solitaire) in carats, and the second number is the combined weight of all the others. “TDW” stands for the total diamond weight found on a piece with multiple gems. The gem weight may just be a number or it can be followed by “ct” or “cw.”

Deciphering the marks on jewelry is quite interesting, especially with pieces you have inherited or purchased from an auction or estate sale. Spend some time looking at your necklaces, rings, bracelets and pins—you may find a hidden treasure in your jewelry box!