Today's guest blog is the first of two on the topic of helping an older parent downsize and relocate. Jennie Alwood is the owner of Here2Home, a senior move management company in the Triangle area.
What is a Senior Move Manager?
Senior Move Management is a new industry that has developed over the past 15 years in response to the growing aging population. Whether a client is moving to be a part of a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) or other 55+ neighborhood or independent living community, many simply cannot do all the work needed to move by themselves. With adult children tending to live further away than with past generations, as they look at their current homes of 30, 40, or 50 years, they are often overwhelmed with the logistics of how to move and what to do with the things they no longer need.
This is where the Senior Move Manager (SMM) comes into the picture. In order to be called a Senior Move Manager, a person or business must be a member in good standing of The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM). Senior Move Manager is a trademarked term of NASMM. At the minimum a SMM will have taken an ethics course, provided proof of insurance and two letters of recommendation. More experienced SMM’s may be certified (having taken a prescribed number of courses as well as providing provided proof of 40 completed jobs) or they may be accredited (having provided further information about the standards in their business practices). Most SMM’s are small businesses that have developed based on the personal experiences and the specific skills of the owners.
In general, SMM’s assist older adults with the many tasks necessary to implement a successful move. This is done through planning, downsizing, packing, overseeing movers, unpacking and hanging pictures. Downsizing is one of the biggest challenges and a SMM may be hired to guide the culling process by helping people decide what to take and what not to take, then providing vetted resources for selling, consigning, donating, shipping to loved ones, or hauling away items no longer needed. Many SMM’s will conduct tag sales; others may refer that service to an estate sales professional. Some SMM’s are movers as well; others refer movers. Some SMM’s are realtors; others refer realtors.
Yes, SMM’s do all the things that adult children could do. What we have found is that adult children live further away than previous generations. Adult children are often sandwiched in between caring for aging parents and caring for growing children and are juggling these responsibilities. Many have found that hiring a SMM can be a better value than using vacation time and personal days off from work.
To learn more about Senior Move Managers and what they do, please visit www.nasmm.org. You can find a SMM using your zip code.