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The Right Move: Working with a Senior Move Manager

Downsizing or relocated from a beloved home is easier with this elder care professional.

A Senior Move Manager is a professional who specializes in assisting older adults and their families with the emotional and physical aspects of relocation and/or aging in place. Senior move managers provide a multi-faceted approach to the move process: from space planning in the beginning to post-move support and advocacy. Though many senior move managers have backgrounds in gerontology, social work, health care, nursing and psychology, others come to this industry from the corporate world of project management, technology, accounting or marketing. What all senior move managers share, however, is a profound commitment to connecting with older adults and a desire to perform meaningful work.
 

Senior Move Manager Services

Although specific services vary, most Senior Move Managers can help with some or all of the following:

     
  • Developing an overall move or age in place plan
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  • Organizing, sorting and downsizing
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  • Customized floor plans
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  • Arranging for the profitable disposal of unwanted items through auction, estate sale, buy-out, consignment, donation or a combination of the above
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  • Interviewing, scheduling and overseeing movers
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  • Arranging shipments and storage
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  • Professional packing
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  • Unpacking and setting up the new home
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  • Related services, such as cleaning, waste removal, shopping, senior escort, assisting with selection of a realtor and helping prepare the home to be sold

Some senior move managers provide these services directly; others function in more of an oversight or management role. Senior move managers have extensive, practical knowledge about the costs, quality and availability of various local community resources.

"One call to a senior move manager can connect you with services older adults and families need for a seamless, successful transition of all kinds."

Additionally, senior move managers frequently assist individuals who choose to stay in their own homes, but require expert organizational skills and solid knowledge of aging in place concepts to help them achieve their goal of . . . not moving anywhere, just improving quality of life.

Senior move managers have significant expertise in resources and approaches that save money, reduce stress and produce quality results. Senior move management services are client-centered and personalized to meet the client’s needs and preferences. Families, particularly, should never doubt the power of an outside expert, especially when there are arguments over how to handle a move or simply who gets a favorite painting.

One call to a senior move manager can connect you with services older adults and families need for a seamless, successful transition of all kinds. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about this new type of service.
 

Who uses senior move managers?

Senior move managers can be hired by:

     
  • Older adults themselves
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  • Family members
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  • Bank and trust officers
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  • Geriatric Care Managers
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  • Attorneys
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  • Social service providers/social workers
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  • Senior living communities
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  • Physicians and allied health providers
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  • Realtors
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  • Staging professionals

 

Why is senior move management needed now?

The numbers tell the story. The US population aged 65 and over will jump nearly 80 percent when the Baby Boom generation retires (from 2010 to 2030). By 2030, the elderly will account for one-fifth of the total US population. Americans age 85 and above comprise the fastest growing segment of the US population. Senior move services are needed now for a variety of reasons:

     
  • Today, many families are geographically dispersed and adult children are often not able to help with the moving process due to distance, career and family obligations. For family members living far away, the barriers may be geographic.
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  • Many seniors have no surviving children, or increasingly, their children are older adults themselves. If an illness or death of a loved one precipitates the move, the family is likely already drained both emotionally and physically. They need help. Senior move management has emerged to fill these gaps and to facilitate the transition for everyone involved.
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  • Older adults making a transition have usually not moved in 30, 40 or 50 years and need to downsize considerably. The organizational and physical tasks associated with planning and implementing such a complex move can be overwhelming for the entire family. Seek the help of experienced, insured professionals and call a senior move manager.

 

How much do senior move management services cost?

It’s virtually impossible to calculate what a specific move might cost, as the fee can vary considerably by geographic region and the services requested:

     
  • Additionally, some senior move managers charge their fees on an hourly basis, while others prefer to package the cost of the entire job at one price.
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  • Members of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, the professional association specifically designed for the senior move industry, will always outline the cost of a job through a written estimate before you are required to submit payment.
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  • Most senior move managers offer a menu of services from which you can choose and you pay accordingly.

The ultimate goal of this industry is to ease the stress of the move process for older adults and family members, not add to your concerns.
 

What makes a senior move manager different from just a moving company?

Senior move managers minimize the chaos and stress associated with moving by addressing all aspects of the move process. They are responsible for creating and executing a seamless action plan, customized to the client’s wishes:

     
  • Some but not all senior move managers are also movers. Those providers that are not movers will work closely with a reputable local moving company to complete that aspect of the job.
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  • With the gentle and expert guidance of an experienced senior move manager, older adults and families make the key decisions without the emotional and physical distress that can follow. As a result, they avoid the costly mistakes and remorse that often accompany such major lifestyle transitions.
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  • Senior move managers do so much more than simply sort, settle and move boxes; senior move managers take the worry (and work!) out of the move process. The client’s job is to simply enjoy his or her new living arrangement.

 

Finding A Senior Move Manager

Look for a senior move manager whose company is a member of The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), the organization that represents about 500 senior move management companies throughout the United States and Canada. NASMM began when a core group of senior move managers, as they called themselves, met in October 2002, in Arlington, VA to discuss developing a professional association specifically designed for the senior move industry. These 22 founding members crafted a mission statement for the new organization and identified the various tasks required to transform their ideas into reality, including board formation, membership design and process, not-for-profit incorporation, website development, database management, member education and member benefits. Just one year later the Board and members hosted the first annual NASMM conference. Sixty-five people from 48 senior move companies assembled in suburban Philadelphia for a weekend of professional education and networking. Since then many initiatives have been implemented:

     
  • NASMM members are reviewed for insurance and experience requirements prior to acceptance.
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  • Ongoing educational programs reflect the NASMM commitment to professionalism and to working with older adults.
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  • NASMM has developed a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for all members.

For more information on finding a senior move manager, contact NASMM at 877-606-2766 or visit http://www.nasmm.org.
 



     
  • The National Association of Senior Move Managers represents about 500 senior move management companies throughout the United States and Canada.
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  • Senior move managers provide a multi-faceted approach to the move process: from space planning in the beginning to post-move support and advocacy.