By: Julie Kopetsky, President, Your Next Move
Anyone who has gone through it will agree, moving is definitely not easy. On the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale, moving ranks third in major stress events, only behind the death of a spouse and divorce. For seniors, especially those with physical or mental challenges, the experience can be completely overwhelming.
Additionally, with life expectancy at an all-time high, the numbers paint a grim picture for those struggling to deal with relocation on their own. The U.S. population aged 65 and over will jump to nearly 80 percent once the Baby Boom generation retires, and by 2030, the elderly will account for one-fifth of the total U.S. population. These are truly amazing statistics, but Americans age 85 and above are now part of the fastest growing demographic in America.
Combine these changing demographics and rapidly aging population with an unmet demand for lifestyle enhancing services, and most seniors find themselves utterly bewildered. Soon more mid-age adults will care for parents than children. But, these Boomers face the issue of the world’s most valued commodity –time.
By the time a Boomer had reached their 50′s or 60′s it is very likely that their parents are in their 70′s, 80′s and 90′s. When these aging parents need help, and eventually most will, the responsibility will fall on their children, who will soon find their resources and emotional bandwidth stretched to unbearable levels.
Adult children in care of their parents must negotiate between the needs of their family, their careers and their own obligations. Additionally, if illness initiated the need for the move, the family is generally already emotionally and physically exhausted. This can result in a situation that breeds unnecessary conflict and creates difficulty for everyone involved.
Therefore, those that take on the responsibility of aiding in the move of a senior often overlook important elements of transition that can be extremely stressful. Fortunately, a senior housing locator service can lend a hand when it is really needed. Elements ranging from coordinating downsizing, household goods movement, estate sales, and selling of the existing home, to ensuring the needs are met for meals, transportation, health care and housekeeping can be way too much for one family to handle.
Moreover, older adults making a transition have usually been in the same location for most of their lives and now need to downsize considerably, to cater both to financial and personal needs. The organizational and physical tasks associated with planning and implementing such a complex move can create a burden on an entire family. Seeking the help of an experienced, insured professional can lift the weight off everyone’s shoulders.
There is also the obstacle of choosing the proper destination for your loved ones. Simply choosing the assisted living route is not encompassing enough to meet the specific needs of some seniors. Some options are designed for very independent, active people, and allow a wide range of freedom. Others provide a supportive environment for those with physical or cognitive impairments, and others provide health care and medical support for wide arrays of needs.
In addition, a few of these choices can integrate elements of all components to serve and meet the specific needs of seniors whose lifestyles and health statuses vary or may change over time. A senior housing locating specialist will make certain that all individual needs are catered to.
Ensuring that the seniors involved in the transition have a voice in the decision making process is also very important. While it can be a rough time for everyone involved, some children often completely take on the task of decision making and leave their parents feeling helpless. Surveys show that most elderly wish to remain in their long-term homes and to many of them moving represents a complete loss of control A senior housing locating service will ensure that those moving get to take place in the decision process and often serve as mediator between parents and their caring children.
But regardless of who makes the first call, a proper move specialist will carry the transition on to a new home while ensuring that the senior is always in control and that communication with their supportive children is constant. A relocation specialist provides a one-stop solution for the entirety of the ordeal; from space planning in the beginning to post-move support and related services, such as cleaning, household goods movement, estate sales, waste removal, and assisting with the selection of a new residence and helping prepare the previous home to be sold.
In the end, senior housing specialists will minimize the bedlam and anxiety associated with moving by addressing all aspects of the move process. Armed with experience and invaluable industry knowledge, they are the best choice for organizing and implementing a complete course of action that is entirely customized to a client’s wishes.
About the author:
Julie Kopetsky has been helping people relocate to the Triangle area for more than 15 years. She has held leadership positions with area agencies and earned professional distinctions as a Certified Relocation Professional and a Global Mobility Specialist.
Her immense industry experience has led to an encompassing understanding of the entire relocation process and uniquely qualifies her to advise clients so they can make a smooth transition. You can learn more at: www.yournextmovenc.com