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Four Challenges of Moving for Seniors

No matter the age…35…55…85, moving is one of life’s most difficult experiences.

It typically ranks along with divorce, job change, and loss of a spouse as one of the most difficult things we face during our lives.

Moving for seniors is particularly troublesome.  We at Gentle Transitions have identified four specific reasons that moving for seniors/older adults is particularly troublesome:

1. Most seniors are leaving a home after many, many years.

It’s quite common that seniors have been in there current home for 30, 40, and 50 years or more.  Leaving a home after this length of time is more than a physical change of place, it’s often an emotional experience.

Many seniors comment, “The only way I was going to leave my home was feet first, so the idea of walking out of my home and moving is overwhelming.”  In reality, many seniors are revitalized and reenergized after making a move.

2.  Most seniors are moving from a larger place to a smaller one.

Moving to a smaller place frankly requires making a personal decision about every single item in a home.

From travel mementos to crystal to linens to tools and kitchen utensils, most people accumulate these things over time and are completely overwhelmed at the prospect of making decisions about so many things.

This is far and away the most challenging aspect of making a move for seniors.  Some have commented that it’s more daunting than even thinking about selling a house.  Afterward however, many also comment that they feel “liberated” by not having so much stuff.

3.  Most seniors are facing some kind of health issues.

Moving at any age requires physical effort, mental sharpness, and lots of lots of energy.

While many seniors are in excellent health during a move, having the physical stamina, the body parts all in working order (the back for one), and the mental where-with-all can be most intimidating.

4.  Most seniors have limited availability of family members to help.

Family is no longer across town or across the street, they are often across the state, across the country, and even across the world.  If they are local, they  are usually occupied with dual careers, getting kids off to soccer, and the pace of life as we know today.