It’s More Than Just a Move – Part I

Senior Downsizing Part 1My appreciation goes to Alison Starkey of Take Care Move Assistance, Lake Oswego, Oregon who along with Sandra Millius of Millius Estate Services presented at a recent Senior Care Workshop held at Portland Christian Center, Portland, Oregon.  Both have allowed me to post information from their presentations.

I think you will find it very useful, especially if you’re thinking about downsizing, relocating, or settling an estate.  There’s so much great information, it will be broken down into a few parts.  This first part is by Alison Starkey.

Senior Relocation is a growing field.  It’ amazing to think that the U.S. population aged 65 and over will jump nearly 80% when the Baby Boomers generation retires (2010-2030).  By 2030, the elderly will comprise nearly one-fifth of the U.S. population.  Wow!  This has led to a special group of professionals who are responding to the demand of senior transitioning.

RIGHTSIZING, DOWNSIZING….It’s so much more than a move

For the senior adult, reasons to ‘move’ are many.  Here’s a few:

  • Health and/or mobility issues
  • Life changing event has happened
  • Want a smaller home to take care of
  • Can’t drive anymore
  • Tired of going up/down stairs
  • Want to be closer to family, friends, or grandchildren
  • Want to move to a retirement community on their terms and not be a burden to their family
  • Recently widowed or a spouse that needs help requiring a move

The challenges are:  What do I do with all of my stuff?  How do I sell the home? How do I know what to bring and ….. well, where do I begin?

For the adult children, the challenges to helping with a ‘move’ are many.  Here’s a few:

  • Family is spread around the country; dual incomes make it harder to leave to help
  • Logistics and cost of travel, limited vacation time
  • Family and outside commitments compete with desire to help with parents’ downsizing
  • Possible inequity of load on one sibling over another
  • Other things to do that go along with the move:  e.g., selling the house, selecting new home
  • Then there’s the “oh my… what’s in the basement?  The attic? The closets?”

The challenges are:  How can I help when I have this to do and that to do, and other things to do?  And I really don’t want all that stuff; I have a house full of my own stuff to deal with.

So now what?

Figuring out where to start, what to get rid of, what to sell – it can be overwhelming.  Once you come to the decision that the ‘move’ will take place, how do you then honor the memories and relationships that made up your family home of many years?   In other words, what do you take and what do you leave behind?  Consider a Professional Senior Move Manager.

What is a Senior Move Manager?  It’s someone who: 

  • Specializes in assisting the older adult and family members navigate through memories and possessions
  • Is compassionate and objective while staying on track
  • Works with the senior to set priorities and make decisions
  • Is trained in downsizing, customized floor planning, sorting, packing, hiring movers, unpacking, setting up the new home
  • Provides resources for services (e.g., estate sale, waste removal, retirement communities, realtors)
  • Makes sure that the new home is all set up that same day

In Part II, you will read about things to consider when hiring a Senior Move Manager, specific tasks that the Senior Move Manager helps with, cost considerations, and Tips to downsize and “de-stress” the move.  So please stay tuned…….

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything”  Mark Twain