Using a Senior Move Manager: What You Need to Know

shutterstock_154243622A unique set of emotions and challenges accompanies moving a parent or loved one out of their home and into a senior living community. The physical and organizational tasks associated with planning such a complicated move often overwhelm everyone involved. For this reason, many families now turn to a senior move manager (SMM) for assistance during this transition. Discover what you need to know about these experienced professionals and decide if a senior move manager is fit for your family’s situation. 

What Is a Senior Move Manager? 

According to the National Association of Senior Move Managers, a senior move manger helps support senior citizens and their families with both the emotional and physical components of relocation and/or “aging in place.” SMMs have backgrounds in a range of professional fields, including social work, gerontology, nursing, health care, and psychology. From space planning to post-move support, they provide an all-encompassing approach to the entire moving process. They have considerable expertise and resources to help families save money, reduce stress, and provide quality results.

Can Anyone Use a Senior Move Manager? 

While many professional asset managers, such as attorneys or bank and trust officers, utilize the services of SMMs, they’re not limited to third-party involvement. Any senior citizen or family member of a moving senior can contract a senior move manager to assist them with their move.

What Services Do Senior Move Managers Provide? 

While individual services vary, most SMMs assist with some or all of the following tasks:

  • Creating an overall moving plan
  • Sorting items and downsizing
  • Arranging proper disposal of unwanted items
  • Coordinating shipments and storage options
  • Professional packing
  • Interviewing, scheduling, and supervising a moving company
  • Unpacking and arranging the new home
  • Other related services, including cleaning, waste removal, shopping, and preparing a former home for a realtor to list on the market

Some companies provide these services directly, while others operate in more of a management and oversight role. Though some SMMs specialize in estate sales and others are professional organizers, they each assist with all elements of the move. Additionally, if the client relocates to somewhere outside of the company’s four-hour radius, they will typically partner with another SMM company to coordinate the move on the other end.

Why Are These Companies Becoming So Popular? 

shutterstock_256326496As the population ages and their needs increase, the senior move manager market has expanded from the small niche where it began over a decade ago. This profession’s rapid growth signifies that the baby boomer generation is very different from those of the past. These seniors typically have more money, a longer life expectancy, and smaller extended families than previous generations. Additionally, since many families today are more geographically dispersed, adult children often cannot assist with the moving process due to family, career, and other distance obligations.

How Much Do Senior Move Management Services Cost? 

The average price typically ranges from one-thousand dollars to four-thousand dollars, depending on the degree of the company’s involvement and the complexity of the move. The fee for these services usually varies based on geographic area and the services requested. Also, some SMMs charge on an hourly basis, while others package the cost of the entire job into one total price. However, the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) will always outline the cost of the job through a written estimate before you agree to the services.

How Do SMMs Differ from Moving Companies? 

Though some senior move managers employee movers, most outsource the physical movement of items to local, reputable moving companies. Moving companies are typically responsible for moving boxes, furniture, and other items from the senior’s home to their new community. While moving companies physically relocate the items, senior move managers oversee every detail of the move from the initial development of a plan to the completed execution. SMMs coordinate all other aspects of the relocation, including the sorting and packing of the client’s items prior to the move and the unpacking and setting up of their items after the move.

How Do I Find a Senior Move Manager? 

shutterstock_158330768The best place to find a senior move manager is the website for the National Association of Senior Move Managers. Additionally, you can ask the senior living community where your parent or loved one will move for a list of local resources as well. Remember to only use a SSM whose company is a member of NASMM. This organization represents over 500 companies throughout the United States and Canada. They evaluate members for experience requirements and insurance prior to acceptance into the association.

With the compassionate and skilled direction of a professional senior move manager, you and your family can handle this large transition in your loved one’s life without getting overwhelmed by the physical and emotional stress so often involved.

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