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  • Writer's pictureLynne Patzelt

The Moving Process for Seniors and How to Simplify It

Research shows that seniors overwhelmingly prefer to age in place. However, not everyone wants to or can do so, with statistics showing that there are 810,000 individuals in assisted living facilities in 2021. Many downsize once they hit retirement age for various reasons, including not being able to afford upkeep, among others. Some seniors move in with family to reduce expenses or receive care.

Regardless of the reason, if you are a senior or a relative of a senior who is relocating, choosing a senior living option that best suits and employing a moving service that specializes in seniors can make the whole process easier. To help you along the way, wellness coach Lynne Patzelt invites you to read on.

Why Choose a Senior Moving Service?

Because these companies specialize in dealing with seniors, they understand that the client may not be able to contribute to loading and unloading and generally offer hands-free service where they handle all of the physical moving. These businesses also usually provide a senior move manager, a professional specially trained to aid seniors with both the physical and emotional facets of leaving for a new home.

Their offerings may include organization, sorting, professional packing, downsizing, unpacking, shipment and storage arrangement. They also have many connections they can leverage on your behalf and are more patient than normal movers. Senior move managers even have their own accrediting institution that enforces certain standards, the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Managers.

The best way to utilize their services is to cooperate and work in tandem with them to accomplish your goals. Listen to their advice and insights and allow them to do the work you hired them to do.

The Financial Side

Budgeting is key when it comes to moving, so be sure to work with your manager to determine costs down to the letter. This includes determining whether to take out a mortgage, which isn’t uncommon in retirement. Ask your manager or your real estate agent to help you survey loan options, and leave no stone unturned. For example, if you’re a veteran, you can likely take advantage of current VA mortgage rates, which tend to be lower than conventional loan options. And with a VA loan you won’t need to worry about private mortgage insurance or a down payment. Part of your budgeting should also include hiring movers, buying packing supplies and paying for any necessary storage.

How Do You Find a Senior Moving Service?

See if your real estate agent knows of a reputable service. Use online resources like the NASMM locator, which enables you to search based on location. Research and compare several companies before deciding on one and ask questions about cost and qualifications. Don't immediately pick the one with the cheapest quote, and keep a sharp eye out for signs of scams, such as requesting a large sum of money upfront.

What Are General Moving Tips?

Make a plan and a checklist of tasks to complete before starting. As you (or your moving service) packs, do so one room at a time and carefully label each box. Acquire a detailed floor plan so you can figure out how much you can reasonably fit into the new place. Decide what to do with unwanted items. Note that a senior move manager can help you with all of this. Take breaks so you don't exhaust yourself. Even if you have someone else taking care of the physical aspect, moving can be stressful and mentally and emotionally draining.

What Are Tips for Settling In?

Your new dwelling may feel alien and strange at first. Unpack the things you need to survive first, but also take out some familiar items like photos or rugs and arrange them to make your environment more familiar. Explore and learn where each room is. Rekey your locks to avoid people with copies of the old keys from entering uninvited. This may cost you an average of $100 to $200 (prices may vary), but it is cheaper than replacing the whole lock. As you search for a local locksmith, look at customer testimonials, ratings and warranty offerings to ensure quality, and make sure to hire a professional who is insured and bonded.

Senior moving professionals have the experience and training to make moving easier for you. Choose from a multitude of services to get the specific help you need.

Annabelle Harris is the creator of Elders.Center. Her goal is to help soon-to-be-seniors and already-seniors move gracefully into their golden years with less fear and more confidence. The site features a plethora of resources to help answer common and not-so-common questions about aging.

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