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The New Way to Move

senior moves

Having the right help during a move minimizes stress and ensures a successful outcome. “Psychologists will tell us that second to losing a spouse, moving is one of life’s greatest stressors,” says Jill Duffey Kearney, president of Senior Moves by Design.  “but it doesn’t have to be!  We’ve helped hundreds of people navigate the waters of moving to a new home, by expertly managing a million little details and being cheerleaders for our clients through the process.”

Senior Moves by Design has partnered with clients, ranging in age from 55 to 95, helping them prepare for a move and successfully transition into their new home.  Mary Kay Busse, Executive Director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), says “Senior Move Management companies like Senior Moves by Design, encourage families not to go it alone, but to engage the assistance of experts who do this every day.  It’s an investment that pays off in many ways.”

Compassion
Senior Move Managers empathize with those facing a big move and understand that a lot of emotions are involved. Many seniors look forward with great anticipation, to moving into a brand new home that will alleviate the chores of home ownership and counter the isolation that many experience in their family home.  Others need to move, despite the desire to stay put. They are happy with their home full of memories and are anxious about closing that chapter and starting something new.  Many Senior Move Managers, like Kearney, got into the business because of a personal experience or connection with others who have moved.  “I helped my own parents move, from 2,000 miles away, and know the stress of flying back and forth and wanting to be there, but having to care for my own family as well. This thought is always in the forefront of my mind when I meet new families facing this situation,” Kearney says.  “We’ve helped hundreds of people successfully get from Point A to Point B, with humor, excellent organizational skills, and often a bit of family and marriage counseling thrown in.  We want a win-win for all.  Understanding, respect and compassion are the keystones of our service to these families.”  

Organization
“Most Americans suffer under the burden of too much “stuff.”  Our seniors, many of whom have lived in the same home for 40-50 years, have often amassed a lifetime of possessions, many they don’t want or care about anymore,” says Kearney.  The trick to dealing with the stuff, is to not deal with it, first! Instead, we search only for the treasures and design the new home around them, using good design and functionality to create a new place that still feels like home.  Once that’s done, our clients have a clear goal of where they’re going - and what’s not going, too!”

These items now need a new home. Kearney and her team identify what family members want first, and then using a network of trusted partners, find outlets for selling as much as possible, donating to charities where it makes sense and then disposing of the balance.  “We try to avoid throwing things out,” says Kearney.  “So many people make good use of them that we think it’s a sin to toss them in a dumpster. Besides, who wouldn’t love knowing that they can make a little money off the things that they’ve owned?”  

Auxiliary Services - Staging to Sell
Most people have to sell one home in order to buy another.  For many seniors, it’s not just a real estate transaction, but a major financial transaction, as well, if their current home is the sole means of paying for a new home. Kearney has been a professional Real Estate Stager for over a decade and her stagers uses this extra ability to help their clients maximize the return they get for their homes.  “We create a strategic plan for the home, partnering with trusted realtors to help us see what our competition looks like. We then partner with local contractors to do everything from repairing walls and repainting with contemporary colors, to a total removal of carpeting, making modest updates to kitchens and baths, correcting issues with roofs and basements and cleaning up landscaping. We can then stage the home to sell, making it appeal to target buyers. We use subtle changes such as fresh artwork, lighting and decor to make buyers fall in love. Our seniors love to see their homes freshened up and are proud to pass on a good home to a new family. It’s also nice to know that their old home, which may have been suffering from their inability to keep up with repairs, will now add to the value of the neighborhood they are  leaving behind.”

Pride in a New Home
After getting a new resident unpacked and set up in a senior community, Kearney often hears other residents say that they wish they had had help in their own moves. Many say that their homes still have unpacked boxes and don’t feel as nicely decorated as they would like. As experienced Redesigners, Kearney and her staff can not only move her seniors to a new home, but in the process, use design to make it pop.  “How a new home looks is a reflection on the one who lives there. Designing a new home or apartment so that it feels spacious and functional is good for the homeowner.  It also makes a good first impression when new friends come to visit. Families who see parents and grandparents living in beautiful new surroundings often remark that they can’t wait until they can rightsize to something as lovely and manageable as this!”

Jill Duffey Kearney is the Founder and Owner of Senior Moves by Design, a team of  Senior Move Managers, Real Estate Stagers, and Redesigners, who serve clients from the Easton to Reading and down to Phoenixville. They specialize in “joyful transitions,” an oxymoron in most people’s minds.  They also partner with senior communities grateful to find helpers to assist new residents in the physical and mental process of moving. New residents settle in quickly and engage in all the benefits of their new lifestyle. Senior Moves By Design is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM). For more information call their office at 610-295-0036 or visit SeniorMovesByDesign.com.

Home Care Rates for Lehigh Valley Seniors and Families Unchanged from 2014

With the rising cost of health care, and more speci fically long-term care, there is a national push to keep people healthy and keep people at home . This is great news as everyone desires to be healthy and remain at home for as long as possible.

Non-medical home care is an integral part of this healthy at home strategy. Non-medical home care services include assisting seniors with light housekeeping, bathing, dressing, running errands and going to doctor's appointments. It keeps a watchful eye on seniors providing proactive support and also helps them with tasks that may put them at risk for injury or falls.

Here in the Lehigh Valley approximately 15% of the residents are 65 years or older (U.S. Census Bureau). It is no wonder that there are over 80 home care agencies caring for seniors in their homes in the Lehigh Valley alone. The majority of non-medical home care is paid for through one's personal finances. Major insurance and Medicare does not pay for a caregiver to do wash, make lunch and run errands for mom or dad. Medicaid funding is available through the county office of aging waiver program if one meets the needs, financial and other requirements. Access to affordable home care is vital for seniors, their families and our community.

In March 2015, Thrive Media completed its survey and market analysis for the non-medical home care industry in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. The findings were an update to the fall 2014 study that benchmarks key performance indicators for the home care industry. Questions include home care rates, employee compensation, average clients, average billable hours, referral sources and more.

The study revealed that home care rates remained relatively unchanged with only a 1.2% increase in the past 6 months. Most home care companies have been reluctant to increase rates, but many are considering a rate increase for 2015.

Caregiver pay remained the same from the fall of 2015, although business appears to be more brisk showing a 3.8% average increase in weekly client billable hours.
Caregiver issues and acquiring new clients were reported to be the top two challenges. Overall, homecare owners and managers viewed the economy favorably and were optimistic about business this year.

For more information about survey findings or to obtain a copy of the benchmark study call Thrive Media at 855-233-7034.

What Is a Senior Move Manager?

Senior Moves by Design specializes in helping people aged 55+ transition to their next property and phase of life

As people reach their middle ages and beyond their lifestyles change. Empty nesters look for smaller housing, retirees seek less maintenance and seniors desire services and amenities to meet their care needs. Moving from one chapter of life into another is exciting and represents an opportunity to redesign living spaces to meet changing lifestyles. Such is the service of Senior Moves By Design; helping people plan, organize, move, design and decorate when moving from one location to the. “A big part of being a senior move manager is the consultative aspect of the transition. The process is much more than a move and entails emotions and decisions that need to be identified and addressed,” says Senior Moves By Design President Jill Kearney. Kearney and her firm Senior Moves By Design have moved over 200 seniors often referred by senior communities. They also work directly with seniors and their families who are looking to relocate loved ones in town or out of state.

Senior Move Management is the profession that assists older adults and their families with the emotional and physical aspects of relocation.

Senior Move Managers can help with some or all of the following:

    Developing an overall move or "age in place" plan
    Customized floor plans
    Organizing, sorting and downsizing
    Arranging shipments and storage
    Arranging for the profitable disposal of unwanted items through auction, estate sale, buy-out, consignment, donation, or a combination of the above
    Interviewing, scheduling and overseeing movers
    Supervise or provide oversight of professional packing
    Unpacking and setting up the new home
    Related services, such as cleaning, waste removal, shopping, senior escort, assisting with selection of a realtor and helping prepare the home to be sold.

Senior Move Managers have significant expertise in identifying resources and approaches that save money, reduce stress and produce quality results. The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASSM) is a professional organization for Senior Move Managers. 

What makes a Senior Move Manager different from just a moving company?

Senior Move Managers can provide a comprehensive approach to the move process: from space planning in the beginning to post-move support.
Senior Move Managers minimize the chaos and stress associated with moving by addressing all aspects of the move process. They are responsible for creating and executing an action plan, customized to the client's wishes.
Some but not all Senior Move Managers are also movers (e.g. “the guys with the trucks”). Those providers that are not movers will work closely with a reputable local moving company to complete that aspect of the job.
With the gentle and expert guidance of an experienced Senior Move Manager, older adults and families make the key decisions without the emotional and physical distress that can follow. As a result, they avoid the costly mistakes and remorse that often accompany such major lifestyle transitions.
Senior Move Managers do so much more than simply sort, settle and move boxes; with loads of energy, enthusiasm and experience, Senior Move Managers take the worry (and work!) out of the move process. The client's job is to simply enjoy his or her new living arrangement.

What questions should I ask when deciding to contract with a Senior Move Manager?

How long have you been providing Senior Move Management services?
Have you participated in any formal training programs?
Are you fully insured for liability and workers' compensation?
How do you charge? (Fees should be provided in writing to the consumer or responsible party prior to providing services).
Will you provide a written contract?
Can you provide references?
Are you a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers® (NASMM)?

Senior Moves By Design is located in the Lehigh Valley, PA, and works directly with seniors and their families looking to relocate around the region and across the United States. Let them make your move a joyful transition!  Senior Moves By Design is a member of National Association of Senior Move Managers, Real Estate Staging Association, Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Lehigh Valley Aging in Place Coalition. Contact Senior Moves By Design at (610) 295-0036 or www.seniormovesbydesign.com/

Upcoming LVAIP Events

20 Jun 2018
04:00PM - 06:00PM
June Member Mixer
16 Jul 2018
09:00AM - 01:00PM
The 2018 Senior Expo
18 Jul 2018
11:30AM - 01:30PM
July Member Mixer

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