As we have discussed in previous blogs, many seniors are resistant to making the move to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC, also known as a life plan community), and they offer a variety of valid reasons from not wanting to leave a beloved home to not feeling confident about their financial situation. But another big reason that people either put off or fight relocating to a CCRC or other retirement community is the dreaded M word: moving.
It’s tough to deny that moving can create a number of potential headaches, even for people who are young and healthy, so it is understandable that this monumental task can feel like an insurmountable challenge to seniors. After all, they have amassed a lifetime’s worth of “stuff” in all of their closets, attic, basement, and garage. You may feel your stress levels rise at the mere prospect of packing it all into boxes and downsizing.
Then there are all of the logistics of moving: selling the house, finding a reputable moving company, switching over the utilities, and unpacking all of those boxes once you get to the CCRC. Maybe the people who want to “age in place” in their own home have the right idea after all!
Well, fear not. There are support resources available who are experts in helping seniors move. These pros can make selling your house, packing, and moving a less arduous task for seniors who are relocating to a CCRC or other retirement community.
Call in the professionals
Seniors real estate specialists (SRES)
While any realtor can help you with the sale of your home, there is a unique certification that some real estate professionals have obtained called the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation. SRES realtors have pursued special training on the issues and concerns that are unique to the 50 and over crowd. They understand that a senior’s home is likely their most valued and valuable asset and that moving can be wrought with emotion, especially for people who have lived in and loved a home for many years.
SRES realtors also offer the benefit of access to their extensive network of related service professionals such as real estate attorneys, financial planners, accountants and others who also have expertise in legal and financial issues that are specific to seniors. Learn more about the advantages of utilizing a SRES-certified real estate professional by visiting the SRES website.
Senior move managers
Also called senior relocators, these are certified and insured professionals who specialize in assisting seniors (and their families) with both the physical and emotional considerations that come with a relocation. A senior move manager typically will take the reins on a number of tasks. First, they will create a detailed plan or checklist of the to-dos that need to be accomplished…and more important, they will help you get them checked off! They are experts at helping with the sorting, organizing, and packing of a lifetime’s-worth of household items and can offer guidance on how to get rid of items that don’t make the cut during a downsize.
The senior move manager can help you coordinate with a trusted moving company, and they will be your mission control on moving day–helping get the truck loaded and also helping you unpack in your new home, allowing you to get settled and comfortable more quickly.
The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) website can help you find a senior move manager in your area. Remember to verify that the person/company you choose is properly insured and bonded.
CCRCs have acknowledged that the huge to-do list that comes with a move is a roadblock for would-be residents, so in an effort to lower this hurdle, some communities employ move-in coordinators who undertake a variety of tasks that were traditionally shouldered by the senior and their family members.
After seniors make their deposit and begin to focus in on a move date, the move-in coordinator can help with downsizing decisions, realtor and mover referrals, interior space planning for the new home, and moving day logistics. Move-in coordinators will often even ensure a few essentials are stocked in the residence when you arrive and have a welcome gift basket waiting for you!
Accept the helping hand
Most people wouldn’t try to repair their own car or fill their own cavity…no, you’d call on the expertise of a professional! And moving to a CCRC or other retirement community should be no different. It is one of those times in life when you should absolutely ask for help, and fortunately, there are people who are trained experts at assisting seniors with this major life transition. Why not take advantage of their experience and know-how?
The above article was written by Brad Breeding