Moving to an independent living community is the start of a new chapter in life. It’s a change that offers freedom, flexibility, and opportunities to socialize with peers. Many seniors look forward to finally having time for hobbies and interests they let go of when they were busy with a career and family life. Although exciting, there’s little doubt that selling a home and downsizing can be a lot of work, too.
Because seniors often remain in the same home for many years, they accumulate a lot of belongings. This can make the prospect of downsizing and relocating feel overwhelming. Even when you are ready to get settled in a new place, figuring out how and where to begin the process might be a challenge.
If you find yourself in this situation, enlisting the services of an experienced senior move manager is one potential solution.
What Is A Senior Move Manager?
This group of professionals has training and expertise in a new field few people know exists. That is, helping older adults through the physical and emotional aspects of downsizing and relocating. Known as senior move managers, these specialists can be invaluable to older adults and their family members.
While you can hire professional movers to do the heavy lifting, most aren’t experts at navigating the unique circumstances of an older adult. A senior move manager has the skills to support you through the highs and lows that come along with downscaling possessions and relocating to a new home.
These professionals can help with as many or as few tasks as you desire. Some offer their services in packages, in addition to à la carte. An experienced senior move manager can work with you to develop a comprehensive relocation plan that includes all of the aspects of downsizing and packing your previous home as well as unpacking and settling into your new home.
Here are some of the services most senior move managers offer to their clients:
- Develop a timeline for downsizing a home and making the move
- Create a floor plan for where to place items in the new home or apartment
- Sort and disburse the belongings no longer needed
- Oversee the packing of items to be moved to the new location
- Organize and help host an estate sale or online auction
- Recommend and arrange the donation of unsold items to local charities
- Select and supervise the professional moving crew
- Hire a cleaning service to tidy up the old house after the move
- Unpack and set up the new home or apartment
To find a certified professional in your area, use your zip code to search the online database of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM). If possible, interview at least 3 or 4 candidates before making a decision.
Suggested Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Senior Move Manager
Asking the right questions is essential when you are hiring a service professional of any kind. If you haven’t done this before, you might not know where to start. Here are several basic questions to ask so that you can make an informed decision:
- How many senior moves have you assisted with in your career?
- How many years have you been a senior move manager?
- Are you a NASMM certified move manager or do you have another type of certification?
- Are you bonded and insured for theft or damage? If you have employees, are they bonded and insured too?
- Are those who work for you employees or contract workers? Do you have workers’ compensation for them?
- Do you charge by the hour or will you quote the job at an all-inclusive rate?
- Will you create a written contract that carefully lays out all of the details with regard to pricing, services, and payment structure?
- Can you provide a list of 3 to 5 recent clients to call for a reference?
While it may take time to find just the right partner for this move, it’s important to wait until you have confidence in who you hire. It will make the process more difficult if the move manager you hire doesn’t work out.
How to Finance Senior Living
We know it can be challenging to figure out the options available to finance senior living. This is why older adults often miss opportunities designed to bridge the gap between personal assets and the cost of care.
A helpful resource you can download at no cost is A Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing. From veterans benefits to life insurance conversions, you’ll likely find options you haven’t heard about before.