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Helping Families Navigate Unique Circumstances

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Lee Anne’s mother passed away unexpectedly in early November leaving her father alone during the Thanksgiving holiday. Not wanting him to be without family at Christmas, Lee Anne and her husband decided to drive to St Louis, from their Wyoming home, to spend the holiday week with him. Upon arrival and much to her surprise, Lee Anne’s mother had been “covering” for her father’s dementia and Lee Anne realized that her father was unable to remain in St Louis any longer on his own.

Lee Anne cajoled her father into coming back to Wyoming with her and her husband for a “short visit” knowing that her father would never return to St Louis. It was heartbreaking.

Several weeks passed and Lee Anne was concerned. In their haste, they had left her father’s phone somewhere in the house, food in the refrigerator (which had undoubtedly spoiled), the water was left on in pipes which could freeze, the unoccupied home was an invitation for burglaries, and they could not come back until summer to deal with the house and the all “the stuff”. They felt helpless and reached out to for direction.

We were able to help Lee Anne by retrieving her father’s phone and sending it to her, emptying the refrigerator and freezer of contents for garbage pickup, running the water through pipes so that the pipes did not dry up and then shutting off the main water valve so that the pipes did not freeze, and ensuring the home appeared “lived in” by sweeping off the front doorstep. Through our concierge services, we met the moving company which came to pick up some furniture for her father.

Going forward over the next several months, we set up a plan for regular visits to maintain the home until Lee Anne returns and prepares the home for sale. We also composed a list of resources to help with the disposal of the home contents plus make the needed updates and repairs.

Lee Anne’s mind was put at ease. Managing an unoccupied home from a distance was formidable and we took that burden off of her shoulders.

“Terri and Linda of Home Watch STL are just what we needed. We really didn’t know anyone else locally who could help us and they took charge of my father’s home, relieving us of great stress and worry. Without the concern, we were able to concentrate on finding my father a retirement community near our home and get him settled in. We are most grateful for their service.”

Helping Families Navigate Unique Circumstances

Who do you know who has a circumstance similar to Lee Anne’s … or a parent aging in place who needs help in maintaining the home? They may have mobility issues and not able to check out the basement or upper floors.

Maybe a parent in rehab who will not be home again for several weeks? We can watch the home during their absence and prepare the home for their return.

We watch homes, unoccupied or occupied, and can help with any special needs within the home. Please feel free to call us at 314-398-0687 or set up a consultation at so that we can learn of your present situation and provide the intentional help that your unique situation requires.

About the Author:


Linda Duke is Co-Founder of HomeWatch STL and a National Home Watch Association certified professional. When she relocated to St. Louis with her husband many years ago, she fell in love with the charm and character of the St. Louis community and neighborhoods. Her husband owns a security firm, which helped her realize the need for Home Watch Services in the St. Louis Metro area. She loves connecting with people and helping them protect their property.

Terri Matheis is Co-Founder of HomeWatch STL, born and raised in St. Louis. She attended Villa Duchesne – if you’re a St. Louis native wondering where she went to high school. She is a National Home Watch Association certified professional and has over three decades of experience in the real estate industry – ranging from residential sales to property management and even Senior Communities. She loves helping fellow St. Louisans who need to be away from their home safeguard their investment.


A vacant home is a vulnerable home. Whether you’re a traveler, snowbird, absentee homeowner, seller with an unoccupied house, or just a busy professional, HomeWatch STL helps you take care of your investment while you’re away. HomeWatch STL works with you to prepare a customized checklist unique to your property. Then, on a set schedule, HomeWatch STL visits the site, examines the property, and notifies you immediately through our electronic reporting system. If anything requires attention, we resolve it on the spot. Rest easy and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to attain with HomeWatch STL on your side.

HomeWatch STL - Certified Home Watch Professionals - St. Louis MO

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