As seniors downsize, packing up family home can be daunting
Paul Mesard faced a tough situation last spring when his 90-year-old cousin, Sidney, needed to move from her New Jersey home into a nearby independent-living community.
Mesard, 62, lives in Denver, and taking off enough time to pack up a house that Sidney had lived in for 35 years and relocate her seemed nearly impossible.
But Mesard stumbled onto a solution: Hire a senior move manager, a professional who specializes in helping older adults move from their homes and resettle elsewhere. A move manager and her team guided Sidney through every room, closet and drawer, quizzing her gently on what to keep or give away. After the move, they unpacked and set up her new apartment. The entire process took just two days. “They were really focused, so it wasn’t a trip down memory lane,” Mesard says. “You’re paying them by the hour, so it’s just about business.”
Seniors moving for the first time in decades can be overwhelmed by the task of emptying out an attic or basement full of boxes. Some seniors also face a major living transition, often into a smaller apartment in a care facility or to an adult child’s house in another part of the country.
Senior move managers, some of whom have social work backgrounds or special training, address the emotional minefields of leaving a family home. Some serve as neutral third parties divvying up family possessions. Others acknowledge the pain of saying goodbye to treasured items.
Clients always have final say, but some managers find ways to help ease the