by Collette Liantonio, President, Concepts TV Productions
In a unique turn of the century 2 family Victorian home in quaint Boonton, a high tech TV production company (upstairs) shares their production offices with the owner’s elderly parents (downstairs). While so many in the sandwich generation are torn between personal and business responsibilities, this special arrangement combines both aspects in a mutually beneficial environment. There’s a swimming pool, a big barn, barbecue and a vegetable garden enjoyed by the staff, the visiting clients, and the senior citizens.
While so many elderly parents are abandoned because their families are too busy this arrangement combines the working and family aspects in a mutually beneficial environment.
When mom developed acute emphazema, I found myself traveling to her home in Queens, New York with increasing frequency to make sure her nursing care was adequate. My increasing absence from the office took its toll.
Our Solution? I sold my office condo, and renovated a two family Victorian one mile from my home in Mountain Lakes, NJ. I created a handicapped accessible ground floor apartment on Main Street in Boonton for my parents. Our office staff and editing facility moved to the 2nd and 3rdfloors. There is a barbecue and swimming pool for lunch time or after work gathering where my staff and family often mingle.
The old barn behind the Victorian serves as our “prop barn” for our theatrical costumes, etc. When our staff runs out for lunch we often run errands for the “seniors.” My dad double checks our “bookkeeping” (He’s a retired office manager.) Many of my oldest clients have gotten to know my parents and my parents often join our company parties and holiday events. Ironically, as a child growing up in Brooklyn, our apartment was on the second and 3rdfloors above my dad’s office where he ran a moving and storage company.
Many of the TV products which we sell are targeted for Senior Citizens and we’ve product tested some health aids on mom and dad. Additionally since mom was not ambulatory she watched TV and reported the latest TV product inventions to our staff so we could keep ahead of the competition!
When we’d need a quick product shot in a home environment, we’d often visit my parents apartment to tape the segment. They enjoyed the entertainment and we accomplished our product goals. Sadly, mom passed away in October after 4 years in our office/home. Our entire staff actually feels the loss. But dad continues to help out with our bookkeeping and we all look forward to our pool parties in the spring.
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