For older adults, maintaining important family documents can be a daunting task. In many cases, the responsibility for organizing and storing such documents falls to adult children. Modern caregiving responsibilities can include organizing vital records, legal papers, and family photos, while ensuring they remain safe and accessible.
To address this need, one company has created a product that provides comprehensive assistance. Securita, Inc. has created the Vital Records PortaVault, a system that identifies, organizes, stores, and transports one’s important records. Over 100 documents can be maintained in the PortaVault. The system provides such helpful aids as color-coded labels, section dividers, user tips, and helpful hints. The files are secured in a heavy-duty canvas case that is water-resistant and durable.
I had the opportunity to learn about the Porta Vault system myself at a recent health fair, where I met Securita, Inc. founder and CEO Sherie Dodsworth. Sherie’s roots are as a CPA, and she has served in a variety of senior roles during more than three decades in financial industries. Most recently, she served as Chairman of the Board of Borel Private Bank and Trust.
On her company’s website, Sherie described the genesis of the PortaVault:
“I had an ‘aha’ moment in 2005 and acted on it. I created a product to solve a problem the world saw unfold during Hurricane Katrina. We were all witness to hundreds of people being evacuated from their rooftops and then transported to evacuation centers with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Following the hurricane members of the media chronicled the challenges victims endured because they were unable to produce documents needed to rebuild their lives.”
Sherie paid attention to the recommendations made in local and national media about the types and methods of organizing personal documents. She found most of the solutions lacking and decided to develop her own solution. As she lived in an earthquake-prone area, she felt that such a solution would have personal benefit.
Her initial efforts soon evolved into the Vital Records PortaVault, a true “grab-and-go” solution that is simple to organize. The San Francisco Bay Area American Red Cross has hailed the PortaVault as its “Solution of Choice,” and the product has been awarded the Seal of Approval from PTPA Media Inc.
Certainly the PortaVault has other applications than use in elder households. However, as someone who works in the home care field with older adults, I am particularly impressed with the product and its potential benefits for seniors. They must often contend with a growing amount of documents, from estate materials to health directives, as well as a lifetime’s accumulation of photos.
My thanks to Sherie Dodsworth for sharing her vision and product with me.