St. Augustine Woman's Journal - Educational Resource to the Women of St. Johns County Since 2009

By Leslie Vlachos
President, Design 55 Inc. 

Senior Move Management-Moving an Aging America


June 1, 2017 | View PDF

What is a senior move manager?

Moving is not an event---but a process. A Senior Move Manager is a professional who specializes in assisting older adults and their families with both the physical and emotional obstacles of later life moves. Most senior moves involve downsizing, with hundreds of decisions to be made as a lifetime of belongings and memories are sorted through. Senior Move Managers have extensive, practical knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of local resources.

What does a senior move manager do?

Senior move management requires a profound commitment to connecting with older adults. Services are client centered and personalized to promote the client’s dignity and autonomy in the process of a major lifestyle move. Although specific services may vary, a Senior Move Manager can help with some or all of the following:

• Develop an overall move plan

• Space planning to determine what will fit in a new, downsized home

• Hands-on help to downsize the client’s belongings before the actual packing and moving begins

• Completely unpack and resettle the client---meaning the living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath are set up for immediate daily living. Replicating aspects of the old home in the new environment can be very comforting for older adults and is the hallmark of a senior move manager.

• Arrange for the disposal of unwanted household items through auction, estate sale, consignment, donation, or a combination of the above.

The goal of a Senior Move Manager is to provide the older adult with a seamless, successful transition to a new home---making each client feel at home the moment they walk through their new front door.

How does a senior move manager differ from a moving company?

Senior Move Managers provide a multifaceted approach to the move process. The focus is on moving people, not moving boxes. A Senior Move Manager will create and execute a move plan, customized to the client’s wishes, that minimizes the chaos and stress associated with a later life move by addressing all aspects of the move process. As a result, older adults and their family avoid costly mistakes and remorse that often accompany major lifestyle transitions.

Why is senior move management needed now?

The numbers tell the story. As baby boomers continue to retire, the US population of people who are 55+ during the next twenty years will increase nearly 80%. Americans 85 and older comprise the fastest growing segment of the US population. By 2030, the elderly will account for one-fifth of the US population.

• The growth in retirement communities and the scattering of adult children have created this niche service. Two income households and physical distance leave adult children little time to help aging parents.

• Older adults making a transition may not have moved in 30 or 40 years or more and need to downsize significantly. The physical and organizational tasks to plan and implement a complex move can be overwhelming for the entire family. Even when family help is available, emotions can run high, making the process thorny and upsetting for everyone involved.

• Other older adults, single or without children, don’t have much help of any kind, and are simply too overwhelmed to tackle the problem alone.

• The illness or death of a loved one may precipitate a move for a family who is already emotionally and physically drained. Senior move management has emerged to fill these gaps and to facilitate a successful transition for all family members.

To learn more about Senior Move Management, contact


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