Moving is one of life’s most stressful events, and it doesn’t get easier with age. But are senior move managers worth the cost?
Here, with the help of Sharona Jacobs, administrator for Silverado at Home—which provides care for seniors in a setting of their choice—we explore the issues involved in hiring professionals to help you organize, downsize, pack, and unpack for a move to a senior living community.
“The idea of moving your loved one with medical and/or cognitive impairments can be extremely stressful,” says Jacobs. “Employing someone who understands the complicated needs of the client and can coordinate all aspects is optimal in ensuring a smoother transition to a new environment.”
These benefits have led more families to turn to the growing field of senior move management for help. In fact, the National Association of Senior Move Managers boasts a membership of more than 900 companies that specialize in helping seniors and their families with the process of downsizing and moving. Senior move managers help families develop an overall moving plan, including overseeing movers, supervising packing, setting up the new apartment, and more. “Having all of these logistics taken care of reduces stress on loved ones and their family members,” says Jacobs.
Assistance with Long-Distance
Not only do senior move managers coordinate local moves, they also arrange long-distance transitions. Professionals at Silverado at Home, for instance, are trained to serve families moving loved ones across the country.
When Jacobs arranged a travel transition package from McAllen to Austin, Texas, she flew to McAllen to complete a comprehensive assessment of the senior’s medical needs and travel safety. Then she arranged for a private medical flight as well as ambulance transports to and from the airports. She also ensured that attendants assisted with personal care needs during transport and upon arrival.
When you must make a significant number of arrangements at both the departure and arrival locations, as in this case, Jacobs says hiring a senior move manager is a wise choice. “With so many moving parts, it makes sense to have a professional handle the journey.”
Assessing the Situation
To families considering hiring a senior move manager, Jacobs recommends obtaining a comprehensive assessment from a healthcare professional prior to the move. That way, you will have a more accurate picture of your loved one’s needs.
“Once, a client’s daughter told me her mother would be able to sit upright on a four-hour flight,” Jacobs recalls. “However, when I arrived for the assessment, the client was actually bedbound and needed to be turned frequently.”
Due to stress in the situation, you may perceive your loved one’s health status as more or less severe than it actually is, says Jacobs. By enlisting the assistance of an objective third party, you can ensure that your loved one receives the proper care throughout the senior living journey.
Counting the Cost
To determine if hiring a senior move manager is worth the cost, Jacobs advises families to first ask for a written estimate. Fees vary by geographic region and services requested. And while some senior move managers charge on an hourly basis, others quote the cost of the entire job.
From there, you need to figure out if the money you’ll spend is worth the stress reduction you’ll experience. After all, eliminating some of moving’s more tedious tasks can free you up to focus on the relationship with your loved one. And sometimes, moving hassles just aren’t worth the headache.
“If a move is done incorrectly, it may end up costing you more down the road,” Jacobs points out. “When done correctly, both you and your loved one can benefit greatly.”
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: Are you considering hiring a senior move manager? What services would you like the company to provide?