Moving into a senior living community is not like an everyday move. For this type of move, you may have several focuses, the most daunting of which may be clearing out a home where your parent has lived for the majority of his or her life. With decades of personal belongings and keepsakes accumulated, you have the chore of downsizing or getting the family home ready for market. In addition, you must consider what your loved one may need in the new residence to make the adjustment easier. If that sounds like more than one person can do alone, you may need the help of a senior moving manager.
What Senior Moving Managers Do
How do senior moving managers differ from regular moving companies? This specialty takes a holistic approach to downsizing and moving while empowering seniors in the process. They advocate on behalf of your loved one by providing an objective view to avoid family conflict, which on its own is a fairly good reason to hire one. They can also coordinate each aspect of the move, including these tasks:
- Creating a plan of action
- Inventorying possessions
- Assisting seniors and family with organizing, sorting, reducing, and donating
- Arranging property sale through an auction or estate sale
- Supervising packing with a vetted moving team
- Unpacking and setting up a new home
- Connecting family with cleaning services, real estate agents, or other resources to complete property transactions
Senior moving managers can also assist with aging in place by inspecting the home, downsizing room by room, and ensuring a safe environment for your elderly loved one.
How They Reduce Stress
In your case, out-of-town siblings who may have strong opinions about your mother’s home and belongings are not there to help you. Rather than hashing it out on your own, which may lead to tension, senior moving managers act as a buffer to diffuse these dynamics. They can provide a digital inventory or virtual walk-through for those long-distance family members to have input. Once the family has its say, a senior moving manager organizes items into separate categories: keep, sell, donate, or throw away. Most belongings are able to be re-homed, which is a comfort to many seniors who have an emotional bond to their things.
Where Do You Find Senior Moving Managers
These moving companies are accredited by the National Association of Senior Moving Managers to specialize in this field. They may have additional training for sensitivity and ethics when working with seniors, and they may also be required to carry additional liability insurance. They follow a strict code of ethics and go above and beyond to be sensitive, creative, and respectful while providing downsizing, packing, and moving services.
Ask your aging life care manager or other trusted eldercare resource providers for recommendations, and then follow up with references and reviews to ensure you are comfortable with the company you work with.
Senior moving managers understand that the transition from the family home to senior living is not easy, but they have the experience to know how to address any unexpected issues to take away some of your worries. It is okay to ask for help from professionals, even if you do not plan on using all the services they offer; there is no point in feeling guilty about not doing everything yourself. Give yourself a break and permission to delegate these responsibilities to someone with experience, so you can focus your attention on your loved one who needs it.
With a bit of luck, you and your mother can pull off this move with minimal stress, and she can settle in and make friends quickly at her new home.
Best of luck!