Managing A Senior Loved One’s Move: Tips For Handling Key Pieces Of The Process

Seniors face many challenges in their older years, and leaving a beloved house they have lived in for years to head into a new home can be a difficult experience. Sorting belongings, finding help for the move, and getting the financial aspects in place can be overwhelming, but some planning and organization ahead of time with the help of some loved ones can make a big difference.

Seniors have more financing options available these days

In the past, seniors often faced difficulties in qualifying for a mortgage for a new home. As the Washington Post explains, post-retirement incomes typically do not qualify a senior for a mortgage under traditional parameters, especially in relation to debt-to-income ratios. The growing number of retirees looking to purchase homes has led to some changes in the industry and now some lenders have made additional programs available that are tailored specifically to the older population.

Some seniors are able to pay all cash or put a substantial amount of cash down on a new home due to equity from a prior home, but not everybody is in that position. Huffington Post notes that for some seniors, a reverse mortgage is a good fit, and doing an HECM mortgage can provide some flexibility in how much of a senior’s money is tied up in a mortgage versus being available for other expenses.

Help your older loved one sort through cherished belongings

Figuring out financing options is one key component to a senior’s move, and handling all of the possessions is another. A senior’s new place is often smaller than their old house, so some downsizing is typically necessary. Caring suggests breaking this up into mini-sessions rather than trying to go through the whole house at once. Sessions of a couple hours at a time provide the chance to make solid progress without your senior feeling too overwhelmed by the memories that come back and the volume of work that needs to be done.

As seniors go through their belongings, they may struggle with being decisive regarding what to keep. It may be most efficient to either keep something for the new place or get rid of it, but this can feel too permanent for seniors who aren’t ready to let go of some things. In situations like this, families may decide to rent a storage unit for a period of time. While this does add another expense to the process, it can help an older adult adjust to not having some of their items with them.

Even if you set up access to a storage unit for some of your senior’s belongings, you will still want to help them pare down what they keep. For example, Christian Family Solutions recommends working with your senior to identify treasured items that can be passed on to other family members and cherished rather than stored away. If your loved one feels attached to a large collection of items, you may be able to help them find some middle ground by keeping one or two key pieces to store or keep at the new place and selling or donating the rest.

Ask plenty of questions when hiring movers to help

 When it comes to hiring help to get your items moved, Real Simple recommends asking real estate agents, family, or friends for recommendations. Be sure to get an in-person estimate and it may be best to focus on movers in your area. Contact several companies to compare services and costs and make sure that they are all giving detailed quotes for the work you need done.

Moving as a senior typically involves a lot of work and some emotional choices. However, loved ones can make the process somewhat easier by providing help and options. Sometimes this means utilizing a storage unit for personal belongings, or a senior may need assistance arranging for local help to get the job done. It takes a lot of work to get a senior settled into their new place, but some planning and determination can help the job get done in a way that leaves your older loved one confident and happy in moving forward.

Written by:

Jim Vogel