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Downsizing without downsides

27 July 2015

The Senior Move Partnership and specialist advice website are working together to publicise a personalised support service to help older people realise all the many benefits of downsizing – but without all the downsides. Managing Director Deborah Stone says

“Everyone recognises the potentially huge advantages of relocating to somewhere smaller or to purpose-designed accommodation as we move into later life. It can enable individuals and couples to take the daily stress out of managing their home; improve their wellbeing and social life; and – of course – release much needed funds to help them make the very most of their retirement years.

We have had huge feedback from our website users, often the close families of elderly people, who want their relatives to move closer to where they live and who tell us that the barriers to moving are preventing their loved ones from downsizing.

So we have introduced a new support resource with The Senior Move Partnership to offer a unique moving service that can be tailored completely to their needs”.

Supporting an elderly person to make a move means much more than simply packing up boxes and calling in a removal firm. “It is important to recognise and understand the physical, emotional and cognitive changes faced by an older adult and the impact this will have on their ability to participate in the process of moving” says Deborah.

“Even a fit and well older adult will tire more easily and can become mentally fatigued, more quickly compared to their former self. Health conditions such as heart complaints, breathing difficulties or arthritis may be manageable on a day-to-day basis, but will demand special attention and support during moving.

“Memory loss or confusion may lead to extra stress as the person struggles to understand and cope with the upheaval in their environment – made more onerous by having to deal with utilities, switching doctors and so on. For those whose family live a long way away, or themselves have health issues, downsizing can be a seriously difficult affair.

“And added to all of this, there is the complex emotional issue of what furniture and treasured items to give away or sell. A family home can be packed with memories – real and virtual. Giving that up can be a massive wrench”.

The Senior Move Partnership service is designed to anticipate and remove all these problems. Amanda Fyfe (TSMP Director) says “we can even undertake a property search on your behalf, help you sell your home, appoint a removal firm, buy and install new furniture and fittings, help you decide which treasured possessions should be passed onto family and then make sure they get to them safely. On the day someone will be there to supervise the move, keep you fed and well hydrated and even drive you to your new home, unpack your boxes, stock your fridge with food and settle you in”.

“As a society, we need to encourage and enable more older people to take advantage of downsizing: an essential part of that process is recognizing the barriers – and overcoming them. We hope this new service will play a big part in that.” says Deborah.

by The Senior Move Partnership