Do you know a senior citizen who is facing a household move? Change is difficult for anyone, and it can be especially unsettling for senior citizens.
Moving one’s house means moving one’s home. It means giving up familiar surroundings and routines and often means giving up cherished belongings that signify memories, accomplishments, and affection. It may mean leaving a community where your loved one built their identity over an entire lifetime. And it may coincide with losing the ability to drive, having a health crisis, or losing a spouse. A household move for a senior citizen is nothing to be taken lightly.
Most senior citizens who are moving have middle aged children who are used to moving and simply want to “get on with it” in an efficient matter. This is reasonable, appropriate, and empowering for the middle stages of our life when we are often moving up or moving on and want to get resettled as soon as possible. But senior citizens are coping with a very different dynamic. They may be moving into a facility or the home of one of their children, and they may feel that there is much to be lost and little to be gained by moving. These differences can be aggravated by the fact that adult children “just want to help” but don’t know how to assist in a way that works for their elderly parents.
Luckily, there are excellent, good-hearted people who specialize in various aspects of helping senior citizens to relocate. As geriatric care managers and lifestyle coordinators at Care is There, we frequently call in these experts to give our client families the very best assistance. They are particularly helpful to long distance caregivers who can’t be on site for their parents move. And even if family is close at hand, sometimes it’s better to have a neutral third party help parents with the stressful moving process.
I recently dedicated a newsletter edition to the topic of helping senior citizens to relocate to or within the Charlottesville Virginia area, and it is full of great local resources including senior move managers, seniors real estate specialists, auction houses, certified aging in place specialists, universal design builders and decorators, organization experts, household energy conservation resources, financial assistance, and more. (Click here for a link to the “Helping Seniors Relocate” edition of the Independent Lifestyles Newsletter.)
Here are some resources to look for wherever you live:
Senior Move Managers are dedicated to assisting older adults and families with the physical and emotional demands of later life living including downsizing, relocating, or modifying their homes. Find a Senior Move Manager at the National Association of Senior Move Managers website.
Seniors Real Estate Specialists are realtors who have demonstrated the necessary knowledge and expertise to counsel clients age 50+ through major financial and lifestyle transitions involved in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home. A SRES® has received special training, gets regular updates, and is prepared to offer the options and information needed in making life changing decisions. Find a Seniors Real Estate Specialist by visiting the Seniors Real Estate Specialists Council website.
Certified Aging in Place Specialists help you design or remodel a home so it is accessible by people of all abilities. Find a CAPS provider at the CAPS page of the National Associaion of Home Builders website.
Good luck with the big move! And if you live in the Charlottesville, Virgina area and would like assistance in any area of your senior loved ones’s life, contact Care is There by contacting me, Elizabeh Swider, at 434.326.5323 ext 2, emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting our website at careisthere.com.