What Do Senior Move Managers Do?
The National Association of Senior Move Managers Web site can give you a good overview of what these senior move specialists can do. Not all of them cover all of the areas listed, so when you find such a business in your elders’ community, you’ll want to ask what services they provide.
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However, the businesses I have looked at specialize in most of the areas listed by the NASMM site:
Organizing, sorting and downsizing
Customized floor plans for the new home so seniors can visualize where their belongings will fit
Arranging for the profitable disposal of unwanted items through auction, estate sale, buy-out, consignment, donation, or a combination of the above
Interviewing, scheduling and overseeing the actual movers, whether it’s their own company or another
Arranging shipments and storage
Supervising professional packing
Unpacking and setting up the new home and helping the elder decide where they want their belongings
Related services, such as cleaning, waste removal, shopping, senior escort, assisting with selection of a realtor and helping prepare the home to be sold are often offered by these businesses or they can give referrals.
For me, a good transitional mover will need the right personality. He or she will stand back and let the elder reminisce as objects are packed. Senior movers will sympathize, but not dissolve into tears as a family member might do. They will be gentle, but firm as well. They will kindly help the elder through the transition.
I would ask for references, as I advise anyone to do with elder services. Obviously, the company should be bonded and insured. But they should have references who can speak to their effectiveness with elders. After all, that is their claim to fame.
Ask for the names of families they have helped move and check the references. Just for extra insurance, you may want to check with the Better Business Bureau as well. A good professional senior mover won’t come cheap, but it’s likely to be cheaper than a nervous breakdown on your part.
At any rate, it’s certainly something to consider during this difficult transition. If you are freed from actively moving your parents from their home, you will have more energy to give them as they settle into their new home. That can be worth a great deal.