As appeared in the February 2012 edition of Senior Voice America:
Make Your Move with a Senior Move Manager!
By Barbara and Jay Marshall, Senior Move Managers, Owners, House to Home Relocation, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida
A young mother called about our downsizing and moving services and said “I know you specialize in assisting older people, but I need help!” She’d heard how se- nior move managers take a start to finish approach with a focus on moving people, not just their things. Overwhelmed by an accumulation of kids projects and out- grown toys along with physical limitations due to recent surgery, this 30-some- thing Mom was in need of an extra set of hands and a partner in the process of making de-cluttering decisions. While we do help people of all ages relocate, this young woman’s call made me think about what it means to be a senior move man- ager and what makes our services especially desirable for older adults.
What’s a “Senior Move Manager”?
If the job title is unfamiliar, you are not alone. A small but fast growing profes- sion, there are over 600 of us throughout the United States and Canada. Our pro- fessional development has been guided by the National Association of Senior Move Managers (www.nasmm.org) and senior business educators like Lifelines Academy & Network (www.lifelinesacademy.com). Members are committed to developing expertise on age-related issues so that we are equipped to address the physical and emotional aspects of moving later in life.
The reality is that when older adults move, it is often to a smaller home or assist- ed living apartment; that means letting go of possessions that represent memories. Some clients are suffering from the death of a spouse, or are facing loss of indepen- dence due to a medical condition. Even if excited about “right-sizing” to a better suited living environment, change is stressful and moves are laborious. A caring, dedicated expert can make a huge difference during such a significant transition.
How is a senior move manager different from a moving company? The typical moving company moves your belongings. Senior Move Managers do so much more! Services include:
• Manage, plan, schedule all aspects of move
• Create new floor plan with attention to safety and ambiance
• Arrange sale, auction and donation of personal belongings, shipping items to family members or friends
• Pack items for transfer to new residence
• Get estimates from reputable movers
• Oversee move day
• Unpack, set up and put away everything in new home, including electronics and computer, make bed, hang pictures and art
Organizing and sorting
• Collaborative, guided sorting through a lifetime of accumulated treasures • Organize essentials like documents and photos
• Paper sorting and filing
• Coordinate the roles played by: the children, grandchildren, siblings, neighbors, new community representatives, painter, moving truck company, cable guy and utility company – among others!
• Connect you to resources in new community
• Identify qualified service providers to meet ongoing needs (home care, meal delivery, medical equipment providers, elder law attorneys, etc.)
We are your partner in all phases of the process, helping you make decisions. We are trained to minimize stress, avoid physical injury, preserve memories, sooth emotions and welcome you to a ready-to-live-in home. Once the mover places fur- niture and boxes in a client’s new residence, our job is to unpack everything and re- create as similar a surrounding as possible. So at the end of the day, a client can sit in his or her favorite chair with TV remote and best books close by, photos familiar- ly placed and hung.
Through training and experience, senior move manages learn to recognize transfer trauma suffered by older adults who are relocating after many years in the same living environment. We know about products that enhance safety and famil- iarity. We have studied the signs of dementia and are attuned to the needs of people with memory impairments, such as preserving memories while downsizing. The truth is that there are unique aspects of moving later in life that require specialized services; and senior move managers, also known as “Senior Transition Specialists”, are the experts you can rely upon to make your move manageable – if not enjoyable.
House to Home Relocation provides a positive experience for older adults who are making a move later in life. There every step of the way, the company of- fers packing, unpacking, shipping, estate liquidation, space planning and new home set up for a turnkey move. Contact Barbara and Jay to arrange for a compli- mentary consultation! www.hthrelocation.com, telephone 727-388-2651. Serving the Greater Tampa Bay Area.