7 Reason’s To Use A Senior Move Manager
Change is challenging for everyone, but for senior citizens, it can be extra tough. You or your loved one might be leaving the family home you spent decades settling into. Memories run deep, and emotions may run high. In fact, more than half of seniors say that avoiding the stress of moving is a reason why they want to age at home, according to a survey by the National Council on Aging.
Being an adult child tasked with moving a senior parent can add another layer of complexity. Today, families lead busy lives scattered across vast geographic areas. You may not live in the same state as your parents, and you may lack the bandwidth to help Mom or Dad move in an organized and thoughtful way.
Senior move managers relieve this burden, specializing in helping the elderly downsize and transition to assisted living communities or other housing.
1. Hiring a senior move manager
A smooth relocation usually entails interactions with several family members, service providers, and professionals. A senior move manager can act as the point person, marshaling all the players into a cohesive team.
When considering a senior move manager, don’t just hire the first name in the phone book (or Google search). You want a service provider that suits your expectations and lifestyle. You or your loved ones will spend a substantial amount of time with this provider either in person, on the phone, by email, or virtually. Plan to interview several providers, obtain references, and do your vetting.
2. Move managers help seniors downsize with dignity
When somebody lives in one home for their entire adult life, they fill it with reminders of the people and places they love. It can be hard for younger generations to understand the emotional difficulties of downsizing and leaving these reminders behind. This disconnect can leave adult children frustrated at their aging parent’s reluctance to let things go.
Senior move managers encounter this situation often, and they can empathize with elderly adults struggling to downsize. They’re able to provide creative solutions that family members may not have considered.
3. Move managers allow seniors to feel in charge of difficult transitions
It’s important to involve seniors in the moving process so that they don’t see the transition as something happening “to” them. This may mean putting the senior in charge of organizing clothing and books or sorting through a box of Christmas ornaments — it all depends on the senior’s physical and cognitive condition. If the aging relative has some input, they will be more likely to accept the move.
Often, a change in health or the loss of a spouse prompts a move to a senior living community. There’s so much loss associated with aging and unfortunately, most of the time when seniors decide to move, something has happened, and they’re not necessarily in a position of total control. An impartial third party can bring order to the moving process, reducing stress for both the senior and their adult children. That way, the family can focus on the physical and emotional needs of their loved one.
4. Move managers can emotionally prepare older adults for assisted living
For older adults there’s the physical side of moving, but there’s also the emotional side of leaving what they’ve known and starting a new normal. One of the biggest hesitations seniors have about transitioning to assisted living is a desire to age at home, surrounded by familiar memories and possessions.
During a consultation with a senior and their family, a senior move manager will listen to concerns and offer solutions based on their experience with others in similar situations. They can help reduce the fear of downsizing and make a seemingly overwhelming process less daunting.
5. Senior move managers can prevent family conflict
The stress of moving, coupled with conflicting personalities, can lead to arguments among adult children and their aging loved one. Move managers can calmly provide an objective perspective and guide families through the process of deciding which things to keep, sell, and donate. Senior move managers are valuable because they help take that emotion out for all involved.
6. Senior moving services can save time and money
Once the new home has been selected, the move manager will obtain a floor plan including all available storage. This allows the move manager to design the new living space using the client’s favorite furnishings, artwork, kitchenware, etc. Putting this on paper can alleviate a lot of anxiety and create some excitement.
Some families will hire a move manager months in advance to begin decluttering or downsizing the senior’s home room-by-room, spacing out their investment and allowing the senior to be active in the process. Others will go all-in for one weekend.
Especially for geographically distant families, move managers can save considerable time and resources. Instead of adult children making multiple flights for organizing, moving, open houses, and estate sales, the move manager can manage many of these tasks. Virtual meetings are often used to keep everyone on the same page during the process.
Your move manager can make all moving arrangements, including the proper packing of all household items. Upon arrival at the new home, they can unpack every box, hang all artwork/photos, make the bed, and hang fresh towels in the bathroom.
7. After the move
Move managers are connected and have real estate agents, cleaning services, appraisers, and staging experts in their network to take care of every detail for the family.
In addition to being convenient, these connections may save a family money, time, and a lot of anxiety.
Some senior living communities partner with local senior move managers. So, if you’re considering hiring one, ask prospective communities for referrals and any incentives to help lower costs.
Finally, if you will be selling the family home, your senior move manager can work with your real estate agent to properly prepare the home for sale, including cleaning of the home, yard work, and possibly even repairs and renovations. The manager can also handle donations, distribute belongings to relatives, and plan for an estate sale if appropriate.