After months of careful searching, your dad has finally selected the senior community that best meets his needs. He feels lucky to have found a place that he can fill with many of his prized possessions. Now it’s time to relocate him and his considerable belongings to his new surroundings.
Moving your parent into a senior community will require a great deal of organization and coordination. Be sure to ask the community your parent is moving into for assistance. Many communities today will either provide assistance or make a referral to a trusted local source that will help. Here’s some advice on how to make the move a logistical success instead of a tactical misfire.
Plan well in advance
Start with a checklist, one with tasks that begin at least two months before the relocation and end on moving and/or delivery day. Here’s an abbreviated example:
- Two months before moving day: Get estimates from movers or truck-rental companies. Create a floor plan of the new home to determine what will fit in the new space. Select items that will be placed in the new home.
- Six weeks before moving day: Complete postal service change-of-address info. Clean out closets and drawers. Rent a storage unit, if needed.
- Four weeks before moving day: Schedule disconnection of utilities at the old home and, if needed, connection of utilities at the new home. Gather important records.
- Two weeks before moving day: Cancel newspaper delivery. Transfer prescriptions to a new pharmacy.
- One day before moving day: Pack belongings (for do-it-yourself move) or let movers pack belongings. Disconnect and prepare large appliances, and dismantle beds and other large pieces of furniture (for DIY move). Confirm arrival time for moving van or pickup time for rental truck(s). Set aside items that will be needed the day of the move: an overnight bag with a change of clothes and personal items (toiletries, medications); important papers; bedding; cleaning supplies (sponges, paper towels, soap).
- Moving day: If using a mover, carefully read inventory sheet.
- Delivery day: If using a mover, check belongings. Supervise unloading and unpacking.
Enlist the help of family and friends
Even if you hire a moving company, there are plenty of tasks that you can assign to relatives and friends. Be specific when making assignments and check to make sure they are completed.
Consider working with a relocation specialist
Some moves are too complicated to handle completely on your own, especially if they involve relocating from one state (or country) to another. There are several categories of professionals experienced in senior relocations:
- Certified Relocation and Transition Specialists (CRTS) – These pros are certified in senior home transitions and senior relocation.
- National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) – This group comprises senior move managers who have completed the NASMM Cornerstone Course in Senior Move Management Ethics and Accountability course. Members are screened for insurance and for experience.
- Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES) – Realtors who have this designation are training in senior topics including reverse mortgages.
If you start with a plan, moving day doesn’t have to end in disaster.