Selecting Retirement Community Is Only Half Of Equation

Armen Hareyan's picture
Advertisement

Patience may be a virtue -- but for senior citizens planning to downsize from a family home to a Continuing Care Retirement Community, there's a fine line between being patient and waiting too long.

"We advise seniors to keep their options open by starting two processes as early as possible -- choosing the right community, and getting their homes ready to go on the market," said Lynn Falwell, co-owner, It's Your Move Inc., a Move Management company in Natick, MA. "The earlier they make their decisions and start the process of preparing their homes, the more easily they will be able to sell and move when a space in their new chosen community becomes available."

Keeping up the momentum of planning also helps ensure that seniors will enter a retirement community while they are healthy and can maintain independent living.

"Retirement communities have the final say in whether a prospective or new resident enters a community at a level of independent living, or must accept some assistance. Seniors who wait too long to move may find themselves requiring assistance not of their choosing, at a greater cost than they had originally planned," said It's Your Move co-owner Janice Armour.

If you are planning to move to a retirement community, or if you're helping a family member who has chosen one, what should you do to prepare for a smooth and relatively seamless transition?

Advertisement

Set a goal of putting your home on the market this spring, and using the winter months to get ready. If you've been in the same home all your adult life, or if that home has been in your family for many generations, the next question you may have is where to start. A professional Move Management company can help.

Move Management companies like It's Your Move specialize in planning, orchestrating and executing a move, and helping individuals manage the disposition of family members' estates. Moving isn't easy for anyone, but for seniors with a lifetime of treasured memories and large attics and basements full of heirlooms, the challenges can feel monumental. How do you de-clutter spaces so that each room is shown in its best light? How do you decide what to move to a new home, what treasures should go to family members, and what should be appraised, auctioned, sold, or donated? Should you work with an interior design service to improve your home's visual appeal with existing furnishings?

It's Your Move guides seniors through this decision making process (always keeping clients in charge). The company will help sort, organize, and perform all packing; oversee the sale and consignment of furniture too large for a new space; suggest the perfect charitable organization for those items not remaining with family members; and ship furniture and personal items to distant friends and family. When moving time comes, it's their job to address the individual concerns of every client. The staff will work with them until every last box is unpacked, pictures are hung, and clients are feeling at home.

Although Move Management companies like It's Your Move help clients complete a move, they leave every decision about the process -- large and small -- in clients' hands.

"Our clients and their family members know that they can trust us with their most treasured possessions," said Ms. Falwell. That trust also extends to Move Management companies' industry partners. It's Your Move has established long-standing relationships with highly reputable movers, cleaning services, appraisers, auction houses, attorneys, brokers, and charities.

Orchestrating the move from a lifetime home is taxing no matter what the time frame is. Though it's difficult emotionally, "It's Your Move makes it fun. You can laugh and have a good time," said one client.

Advertisement