The closer it gets to summer…the more we think of family reunions, sandy, sun-soaked vacations and backyard barbecues. Speaking of family…have you ever noticed that there are some situations in which you truly see the ties that bind, and others in which those familial ties are truly tested?! Moving is definitely one of those times that induces stress amidst the best of circumstances.; moving a senior family member for health, safety or financial reasons often creates even more anxiety. From discussions over what to clean-out, how to pack and where to go…dynamics shift drastically and may even initiate some parent-child role reversal. Before you start to think this is a lecture in senior psychology 101 – rest assured that today’s blog is focused on the growing number of senior transitions, and how to protect and preserve the family unit along the way. (You may recall that National Senior Move Manager Week was last week, and we are devoting the month of May to Senior Move Managers on our blog!)
Think back to 20 years ago…did your parents use Senior Move Managers to assist their grandparents? Did they even know the term ‘Senior Move Manager’ existed or consider anyone helping their family elders…besides family?! First of all, more families today than ever are geographically dispersed, or unable to help due to the demands of family, career and their own household needs. Second, the national aging sector is surging as more and more Baby Boomers reach retirement age. When the Baby Boom generation retires (from 2010-2030), the U.S population aged 65 and over will jump nearly 80%. Plus, with improved medical treatments and revised lifestyle choices, Americans aged 85 and over make-up the fastest growing segment of the nation.* Long story short, there are more seniors aging now than 20 years ago…and that equates to more older adults making transitions in where they live and what type of residence they select.
Whether a senior is making a geographical move to a new location, downsizing to a smaller space, up-sizing to their dream retirement home or entering assisted living – their families may have the best of intentions, but may not always be in the best position to provide support. Adult children may be aging themselves, and unable to physically designate the time and energy needed. If the senior move has been initiated by an illness or death in the family, everyone may be emotionally, physically and quite understandably drained. Not to mention that even with the healthiest, most available, willing and ready local family members…moving a residence of 30-40-50-60 years can be entirely overwhelming!
Senior Move Managers fill the gap between the number of aging individuals desired or needing to move, and the tasks that need to happen to result in a streamlined and simplified settlement into the new home. Moreover, Senior Move Managers DO NOT bring the emotion, sensitivity or sentiments that families bring to the move process. They DO bring compassion, compromises and considerations that are objective in nature and proven in practice.
This is not to say that there is a lack of tasks that families can conduct and complete together. Sharing stories while packing photo albums, hosting a garage sale at Aunt Sally’s while selling her famous coffee cake and gifting items of sentimental value can be very positive rites of passage in older adult transitions. But deciding who has to pack Uncle Ed’s coo coo clock collection or drafting floor plans to fit furniture into a 600 square foot studio…that’s a job for a Senior Move Manager. There is plenty to decide and delegate in any move; by making conscience decisions about where the sources of stress are and asking for help – you can protect your family and preserve your sanity at the same time.
(To learn more about the services component – check out last week’s blog on how move managers differ from traditional movers: CLICK HERE. )
If you are wondering how a senior move manager can contribute to your particular situation – please do not hesitate to reach out! Our ultimate goal in every move is to make every transition easier…and keep every family happier & healthier in body, mind and soul!
Helen & Julie
*Data courtesy of NASMM: https://www.nasmm.org/faqs/index.cfm