It’s National Senior Move Managers Week this week (always beginning on Mother’s Day – not coincidentally). In attempting to capture why senior move managers should be recognized during this week, I find myself at a loss. Odd, you say, since our job – as association staff – is to support this profession. I’m at a loss because it’s just so obvious. Jennifer and I are baffled and bewildered that so many older adults and families still do not use senior move managers. Oh sure, NASMM members conducted 50,000 senior moves last year, but that number simply scratches the surface. Families – who insist on doing it themselves – continue to be stressed to the breaking point when managing an older relative’s first move in 40 or 50 years. Why? Really . . . why?
Just to refresh your memory, here’s a short list of what a senior move manager can do:
- Develop an overall move or “age in place” plan
- Organize, sort and downsize current home
- Create detailed & customized floor plans for new home
- Arrange for the profitable disposal of unwanted items through auction, estate sale, buy-out, consignment, donation, or a combination of the above
- Interview, schedule and supervise movers
- Arrange for shipments and storage
- Supervise professional packing
- Unpack and settle the new home
- Related services, such as cleaning, waste removal, shopping, senior escort, assisting with selection of a realtor and helping prepare the home to be sold.
You already know we work for NASMM, so we get paid to say great things about senior move managers. What you don’t know is ~ every day, we receive handwritten letters from older adult clients praising the wonderful work of their specific senior move manager. These letters usually are quite long, and written in the prose of a time gone by. The style and format are “textbook,” but the sentiment is clearly heartfelt. Often composed in the uneven hand of someone who suffers from arthritis, Parkinson’s, or another degenerative condition, these messages convey a profound relief and contentment that comes from outsourcing to experts. The letter writers are grateful for the genuine care and compassion taken with sorting through their lifelong possessions and mementos. They are in awe of the way the new apartment is set up, with everything in its customary place just hours after it was in a box on a truck. These senior move clients recognize the project management professionalism required for a seamless move. Most of all, they are thrilled they did not require their adult children to leave their jobs and their own families to help move them. Their fierce independence remains intact.