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Best Moving Companies for Seniors (2024)

Default Author Icon Written by Shane Sentelle + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Kent Sisneros Updated 04/19/2024

Moving can be a challenging experience for senior citizens due to the strenuous packing, heavy lifting, and tedious driving involved. Fortunately, some moving companies provide senior services and discounts to ease the process. 

We recommend International Van Lines as the best option for seniors because it provides a senior discount and tailors its services to match their needs. Our second pick is American Van Lines because the company focuses on skilled moving labor that can adjust to seniors’ needs. Interstate Moving & Relocation Group is another great option because it also connects them with movers who match their unique needs and budget.

We conducted extensive research, including interviewing industry experts, surveying 1,000 moving customers, and thoroughly analyzing service offerings and protection plans to find the best companies for seniors. This research helped us identify the five best moving companies that offer ample and affordable services for seniors. Find all of our top picks and what makes them stand out below.


Best Moving Companies for Seniors in 2024

We use a methodology to rate moving companies on a scale of 1–100 based on their service packages, insurance coverage, online reputation with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and other factors. We then compare the service options and discounts each moving company offers to determine how well they cater to the needs of an average senior move.

Here are the best moving companies for seniors in 2024:

International Van Lines: Best Service Offerings
American Van Lines: Best Overall Moving Labor
U-Pack: Most Affordable
Safeway Moving Inc.: Most Reliable Pricing

What Should I Know About Senior Movers?

It’s important to understand key information about moving companies before booking services. You should know how much it will cost to move, what moving insurance options you have, and what services you can choose.

Moving costs for seniors depend on distance, total item weight, and time of year. We found that most senior moves cost around $5,704, based on the quotes we obtained for this article.
Many seniors hire professional movers to help pack, load, unload, and unpack their belongings, which will inflate the final price. Furthermore, extra costs arise from the need for assistance in properly disassembling and reassembling items such as beds, tables, lamps, and other furniture.
Moving insurance is a type of coverage that protects your belongings while a moving company is transporting them. It ensures your items are safe from potential damage or loss during transit.
By law, the most basic coverage required is called released value protection. It provides minimal protection at no extra cost and compensates items based only on their weight, not their value.
Alternatively, full-value protection is a more comprehensive option where the moving company is responsible for repairing, replacing, or reimbursing the full value of damaged or lost items. You can purchase additional coverage from an insurance provider separate from the moving company if you want more protection.
Various helpful moving services are available to assist senior citizens during the relocation process. Many moving companies offer full-service moving packers. These include packing and unpacking services where the movers carefully wrap and protect items, neatly pack boxes, and unwrap and place items in the new home.
Another service many seniors choose is furniture disassembly, another full-service moving option. This service has the company disassemble and put furniture back together. Movers can provide full deconstruction services before the move, with complete reassembly at the new residence so everything is readily set up and in place.
If you have more help or feel physically capable, you can opt for a partial-pack or self-service move. This service model has to handle some of the packing on your own. Another popular, cheaper self-service model is portable storage container moves. This service has you pack and load a moving container that the moving company transports. Many moving container companies do offer labor as an add-on service, though.

Compare Moving Companies

We recognize International Van Lines and American Van Lines as the top companies for seniors because of their comprehensive service options, senior discounts, and quality insurance coverage, which includes full-value protection plans. See how our top movers compare based on these important factors and more below.

Star Rating BBB Rating Service Model Link
International Van Lines International Van Lines
A+ Carrier VISIT SITE
American Van Lines American Van Lines
A+ Carrier and broker VISIT SITE
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
B Broker VISIT SITE
U-Pack U-Pack
A+ Self-service VISIT SITE
Safeway Moving Inc. Safeway Moving Inc.
B- Carrier and broker VISIT SITE
International Van Lines
Logo International Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Service Model Carrier
VISIT SITE
American Van Lines
Logo American Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Service Model Carrier and broker
VISIT SITE
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Logo Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
Service Model Broker
VISIT SITE
U-Pack
Logo U-Pack
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Service Model Self-service
VISIT SITE
Safeway Moving Inc.
Logo Safeway Moving Inc.
Star Rating
BBB Rating B-
Service Model Carrier and broker
VISIT SITE
Providers
Star Rating
BBB Rating
Estimate Info
Service Model
A+
$4,200–$6,150
Carrier and broker
A+
$3,200–$3,500
Carrier and broker
B
$3,900–$7,000
Broker
A+
$6,174
Self-Service
B-
$5,695
Carrier and broker

Note: Estimates are based on a two- or three-bedroom a move from Albany, New York, to Miami, Florida.

Note: BBB ratings are accurate as of January 2024.


International Van Lines

Best Service Offerings
4.9
  • Availability: 50 states
  • USDOT #: 2293832

International Van Lines (IVL) is our top pick for seniors because of its comprehensive services and senior discount. The company also offers competitive rates, can tailor its services to help older individuals, and provides various articles on its moving blog with tips for moving senior citizens abroad. IVL states on its website that it offers a 15% discount to senior citizens.

How We Scored International Van Lines

IVL scored 4.9 out of 5 stars on our rating scale. IVL received our highest rating due to its comprehensive list of basic and add-on services that it can tailor to the needs of seniors. The company also received high marks for its excellent Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and its provision of interstate moving services. However, it lost points for not offering financing.

  • Moving Services (59 out of 59 points): IVL offers one of the most comprehensive moving service catalogs, including all options for full-pack, partial-pack, and specialty services such as crating for antiques.
  • Insurance Coverage (8 out of 8 points): IVL offers more than three different insurance coverage options, so it earned high points in this area. You can pay more for full-value protection or its cheaper partial-value release plans.
  • Scheduling (8 out of 8 points): IVL’s scheduling and quote process is one of the most simple and easy ones we encountered. The company offers multiple communication methods, including email and phone.
  • Additional Benefits (10 out of 13 points): The company lost some points because it doesn’t provide financing or any do-it-yourself (DIY) moving methods. However, IVL offers comprehensive storage services and sells packing materials.
  • Customer Service (12 out of 12 points): IVL has an overall positive reputation across online review sites, and it has only featured one crash report in the past two years on its FMCSA profile.

Pros and Cons

Pros Offers a 15% discount for seniors Offers specialty services for moving pianos, antiques, recreational equipment, and artwork Provides multiple coverage plans Cons Requires a 25% deposit to book a moving date Has negative customer reviews regarding miscommunication at some locations No online sample prices

Moving Services for Seniors

In addition to full-service packing options, IVL offers several add-on services that it can tailor to match the needs of senior citizens, including:

  • Bulky item relocation
  • Large vehicle shipping
  • Motorcycle shipping
  • Piano moving
  • Temporary or permanent storage

Cost

IVL’s standard quote process involves a thorough phone estimate or an in-person consultation. We strongly suggest opting for an in-person consultation, as it helps make the initial estimate more precise and allows you to answer any questions quickly and effortlessly.

We used IVL’s online moving cost calculator to generate the following sample quote. Our quote includes loading services and transportation. IVL states that it generally offers a 15% discount for seniors, but this amount may change depending on the type of moving package created.

  • Sample quote: $4,200–$6,150 (three-bedroom move from Albany, New York, to Miami, Florida)
  • Deposit: 25%
  • Payment accepted: Cash, cashier’s check, credit card (deposit only), money order

Reputation and Reviews

It’s important to note that your experience with a nationwide moving company such as IVL can vary depending on your location and the local agents. IVL has an A rating on the BBB but is not accredited. Reviews for IVL mention prompt service, but some note that the quality can be inconsistent depending on the partner company.

American Van Lines

Best Overall Moving Labor
4.4
  • Availability: 48 states*
  • USDOT #: 614506

*American Van Lines is not available in Alaska or Hawaii.

American Van Lines is our pick for highly skilled moving crews. The company requires its staff to undergo regular training sessions and certification programs. You can rest assured that qualified staff, not contracted labor, will handle your household items.

American Van Lines will load and unload all your items and is available for full- or partial-service packing needs, including fragile-only packing. The company specializes in long-distance relocations and handles antique and hard-to-move pieces like pianos.

How We Scored American Van Lines

American Van Lines scored 4.4 out of 5 stars. The company provides a complete range of services and received many points for its senior service offerings and extensive insurance coverage. It lost points for its lack of self-service options. Also, you need to call to get a better idea of your cost, and it doesn’t provide a moving cost calculator.

  • Moving Services (59 out of 59 points): American Van Lines’ service packages and offerings are as comprehensive as IVL’s. You receive specialty services from highly trained moving professionals and decide between a partial-pack or a full-pack move.
  • Insurance Coverage (8 out of 8 points): The company offers multiple levels of insurance coverage to match your move budget and the value of your items.
  • Scheduling (4 out of 8 points): American Van Lines only offers scheduling via phone. Many other senior movers offer convenience through online scheduling and virtual consultations. American Van Lines also limits its customer service hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST on Saturdays. It’s closed on Sundays.
  • Additional Benefits (8 out of 13 points): The company features fewer additional benefits than others. It also doesn’t offer any financing, provide an online cost calculator, or provide much cost information on its website.
  • Customer Service (9 out of 12 points): American Van Lines has a positive online reputation on the BBB. We noticed some of its trucks regularly appear to fail federal inspections on its FMCSA profile, though. It features a report of injury and five tows in the last two years.

Pros and Cons

Pros Has flat-rate pricing or binding estimates Offers a senior citizen discount Provides deals for moves reserved well in advance Cons Doesn’t cover damages caused by third-party movers Has distracting pop-up chat windows throughout its website Requires a deposit of up to half of your total moving cost

Moving Services for Seniors

American Van Lines has a service model that allows seniors to personalize their moving services. The company also guarantees the safety of fragile items, which is a highlight for elderly customers. Its full-service interstate moving crew handles wrapping, padding, packing, and protecting delicate belongings.

The company also offers the following services for moves:

  • Corporate relocation
  • Military relocation 
  • Online shipment tracking
  • Temporary and permanent storage
  • White-glove relocation of artwork and antiques

Cost

American Van Lines’ flat-rate pricing enables you to budget for your move easily without worrying about added fees. The company provides sample moving costs online for moves between major cities. However, you can call it for a more detailed estimate, and a representative will give you a binding estimate after a virtual or in-home review. Additionally, the company offers price matching, so obtaining quotes from multiple companies to compare is a good idea.

  • Sample quote: $3,200–$3,500 (three-bedroom move from Albany, New York, to Miami, Florida)
  • Deposit: Up to 50% up-front
  • Payment accepted: Cash, cashier’s check, credit card, money order, and traveler’s check

Reputation and Reviews

The company has an A+ rating on the BBB. According to customer reviews, the company’s service is solid, rating 4.05 out of 5 stars. Customers have praised American Van Lines’s pricing structure, but some negative reviews have mentioned price hikes and difficulties communicating with moving crews.

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

Most Efficient
4.4
  • Availability: 50 states
  • USDOT #: 3034100

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) is a broker with partners across all 50 states. It offers specialized services that it can adjust to suit the needs of senior citizens. Its services include full-service packing, crating, debris removal, and more. Many of its moving partners provide short- and long-term storage services for those who are downsizing or need extra space.

How We Scored Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

IMRG earned a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Its service profile and flexibility stand out, offering assistance with local, long-distance, and limited international moving. IMRG provides easy booking online or over the phone, as well as moving checklists and guides for each stage of the moving process. However, it lost points for not offering storage or financing.

  • Moving Services (59 out of 59 points): IMRG connects you with movers who can provide any moving package a senior citizen may need, so it earned all points in this area.
  • Insurance Coverage (5 out of 8 points): IMRG only offers two coverage plans: a partial-value protection plan and a full-value protection plan.
  • Scheduling (8 out of 8 points): IMRG offers communication via phone and online.
  • Additional Benefits (6 out of 13 points): IMRG provides a decent catalog of other benefits, but we did notice it lacks when it comes to financing and storage services. Storage services are becoming a standard option in the moving industry, but IMRG doesn’t provide this option.
  • Customer Service (9 out of 12 points): The company keeps a positive reputation online due to its helpful customer service. Our research showed it also routinely passes inspections and hasn’t had any accidents in the last two years via the FMCSA.

Pros and Cons

Pros Offers senior discounts Provides specialized packing for antiques and other valuables Has resources and guides for moving on its website Cons Operates only as a broker Has no weekend customer support Has a 72-hour cancellation policy

Moving Services for Seniors

IMRG provides two types of moving assistance: full-service and self-service. With IMRG, you can either handle packing with the help of loved ones or outsource it to a qualified professional. IMRG connects you with the right mover based on your specific needs, including assistance for elderly customers. IMRG coordinates services, including packing, loading, unloading, and transportation.

Here are the other services it provides for seniors:

  • Cleaning
  • Junk removal 
  • Piano moving
  • Temporary and permanent storage
  • Vehicle shipping

Cost

Your quote process with IMRG begins when you submit a contact form online. You’ll be contacted by a company representative who will assess your moving needs and see which partner carriers can best handle your move. We received the ballpark estimate below after using the cost calculator on IMRG’s site.

  • Sample quote: $3,900–$7,000 (three-bedroom move from Albany, New York, to Miami, Florida)
  • Deposit: Up to 33%
  • Payment accepted: Credit card and check

Reputation and Reviews

IMRG is a company that acts as a broker for moving services, relying on its partner companies to deliver high-quality service. The company doesn’t have BBB accreditation and currently holds a B rating. While some customers have praised the professionalism of IMRG’s crews, others have reported experiencing bait-and-switch pricing tactics and provided negative feedback.

U-Pack

Most Affordable
3.8
  • Availability: 50 states
  • USDOT #: 2946400

U-Pack is a self-service mover, similar to 1-800-PACK-RAT, that provides a senior discount adjusted according to your move. The company offers transparent pricing online with a quick quote process. Additionally, U-Pack helps tailor its moves to seniors through additional third-party support and online resources.

U-Pack does have a 150-mileage minimum, so your move will have to be a long-distance one to receive U-Pack’s services. The company also only allows three days to load and three days to unload, so be sure you have enlisted some extra help.

How We Scored U-Pack

U-Pack earned 3.8 out of 5 stars according to our methodology. It’s a great option for inexpensive moves, but it scored low because it lacks additional service options and has a minimum distance requirement of 150 miles. However, U-Pack offers excellent pricing and quick scheduling, making it a good choice for seniors on a tight budget.

  • Moving Services (40 out of 59 points): U-Pack doesn’t offer local moving services. You can’t use it for your small move if the relocation distance is less than 150 miles.
  • Insurance Coverage (5 out of 8 points): The company keeps its protection plans simple with one partial-value protection plan, which federal law requires, and one full-value plan.
  • Scheduling (4 out of 8 points): U-Pack lacks convenience with scheduling because it only lets you finalize any scheduling over the phone rather than an online portal or email.
  • Additional Benefits (11 out of 13 points): U-Pack provides an excellent selection of extra benefits, given it’s focused on more self-service and cheaper moves. It also offers packing supplies and GPS tracking but doesn’t provide any financing.
  • Customer Service (9 out of 12 points): U-Pack has generally received positive reviews on popular review sites. However, we found that many of its trucks have failed FMCSA inspections. This issue is likely because the company works with ABF Freight, a large freight transportation company.

Pros and Cons

Pros Offers multiple discounts and coupons, including senior discounts Provides a pay-for-what-you-use policy with its moving trailer option Includes a no-hidden-fee guarantee with its pricing Cons Offers only three days to load and three days to unload Has a 150-mileage minimum Doesn’t offer packing or loading and unloading services

Moving Services for Seniors

U-Pack mainly focuses on self-service portable storage container moves. The process is simple: the company delivers one of its container options to your home, and you can load your belongings at your leisure within three days. Once you’re done loading, you can notify the company to pick up and deliver the container to your new home. At your new home, you can unload your belongings at your own pace.

U-Pack offers two container options: the ReloCube moving container or a large moving trailer used by ABF Freights. You only pay for the square footage you use if you choose the moving trailer.

Here are some of the other services U-Pack provides:

  • Climate-controlled storage 
  • Loading and unloading (via third-party)
  • Packing and unpacking (via third-party)
  • Military moves 
  • Senior moves
  • Student moves

Cost

We requested a quote from U-Pack to move three ReloCubes from Albany, New York, to Miami, Florida. The quote we received was all-inclusive, and there were no hidden fees. If we used a 15-foot moving trailer, the cost would be $3,602.

U-Pack offers senior discounts, which are calculated based on the move. U-Pack charges tiered cancellation fees in case of cancellation: $50 for cancellations made within a week of the move and $150 for same-day cancellations. You must pay all moving fees before the delivery of goods.

  • Sample Quote: $6,174 (three-bedroom move from Albany, New York, to Miami, Florida)
  • Deposit: None
  • Payment Accepted: Credit card, debit card, or PayPal

Reputation and Reviews

U-Pack has an A+ rating with the BBB, and its customer review score is 4.25 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews indicate that its drivers and containers are of high quality. However, negative reviews mention billing disputes and discrepancies in delivery dates.

We also found mixed customer feedback on Trustpilot and read several recent customer testimonials. Poor customer service appeared to be a common issue in many negative reviews.

Safeway Moving Inc.

Most Reliable Pricing
4.2
  • Availability: 50 states
  • USDOT #: 3756000

Safeway Moving Inc. is a nationally recognized moving carrier and broker specializing in long-distance moves. While it has limited availability as a carrier, Safeway primarily brokers out interstate and longer moves to its moving partners in all 50 states.

Safeway partners with many of the best companies in the industry to offer hands-off moving experiences to customers with varying needs, including senior citizens and loved ones who are booking moves for elderly relatives. You’ll be treated to various services and have the flexibility to craft your move package if you choose Safeway.

How We Scored Safeway

Safeway earned 4.2 out of 5 stars. The company provides seniors with a complete range of moving services, including packing and storage. It offers online and over-the-phone quotes for your convenience but doesn’t provide additional benefits, such as moving calculators or financing options. It’s important to note that specialized services may be available in certain areas, but you shouldn’t expect them for all Safeway moves.

  • Moving Services (59 out of 59 points): Safeway acts as a moving broker, so it can connect you with practically any service a senior may want, including options for partial packing, full packing, and specialty services.
  • Insurance Coverage (5 out of 8 points): Safeway keeps its insurance options simple by offering a one released value protection plan and one full-value protection plan.
  • Scheduling (8 out of 8 points): The company offers multiple ways to contact and communicate with its team, including phone, email, and chat options.
  • Additional Benefits (4 out of 13 points): Safeway offers a wide variety of standard moving services, but doesn’t provide shipment tracking, financing, moving calculators, and other benefits we like, such as online moving resources.
  • Customer service (6 out of 12 points): Safeway suffers from a poor reputation due to the companies it brokers. Customers have mixed experiences once connected with movers, so we recommend you closely assess the carriers you receive. Safeway also features higher-than-average issues with the FMCSA.

Pros and Cons

Pros Offers flat-rate pricing Provides packing services and 30 days of free storage with all moves Partners with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Cons Brokers out most moves Has limited information online Can be difficult to communicate with since you aren’t in touch with your carrier until later in the process

Moving Services for Seniors

Safeway focuses on full-service relocation, providing door-to-door service that includes packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking. Like other companies on this list, you can communicate with Safeway that you want these services tailored for a senior citizen. Safeway focuses chiefly on long-distance moves. Here are the add-on services Safeway offers:

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Custom crating for fragile items
  • Specialized assistance for senior citizens 
  • Temporary and permanent storage

Cost

Safeway provides a flat-rate pricing system for all types of moves. This means customers on tighter budgets or fixed incomes will only be charged the quoted price, without additional fees. You can get a quote from Safeway by calling the company or filling out a quote form on its website.

We submitted an inventory sheet online to Safeway and received a response from a company representative who provided us with the below sample quote.

  • Sample quote: $5,695 (three-bedroom move from Austin, Texas, to Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Deposit: Up to 40%
  • Payment accepted: Cash, credit card, certified check, and money order

Reputation and Reviews

Safeway primarily functions as a broker, and some reviews indicate that its carriers use bait-and-switch pricing tactics. However, most reviews are positive and highlight its high-quality service, detailed quote process, and extensive insurance coverage. Safeway currently holds a B- rating with the BBB.


What Determines a Move’s Cost?

Your moving cost will depend on the distance, weight of your items, and the time of year. We outlined two basic pricing structures for moves below.

Single-Day Moves

Short-distance moves are moves completed within a single day. Moving companies typically calculate their costs hourly, similar to the cost structure for local moves. If you need additional services, such as packing, the movers will add the cost of these services to the final total based on the number of hours the movers work. Sometimes, you may have to pay for packing supplies or crating or opt for flat fees for specific services such as piano or pool table moving. However, you’ll always receive an estimate that includes all the services provided, an hourly rate based on the company’s demand and an approximate estimate of the total time required to complete the move.

Multiday Moves

Longer moves, such as state-to-state moves, are where costs get more complicated. You’ll pay flat rates or ballpark estimates based on the following factors:

  • Add-on services: Added services like packing, crating, and vehicle shipping inflate your cost. These services may have flat fees associated with them or be a part of your line-haul fee, depending on the mover you choose.
  • Advanced booking: Booking your move at least six weeks to a month in advance will help ensure that you don’t incur higher rates. Some movers bill higher rates when you book within a week of your move date.
  • Company size: Comparing quotes between national van lines, local movers, and truck rental options can reveal significant pricing differences. Well-known brands usually charge more than smaller independent movers but may offer better service, reliability, and claims handling.
  • Insurance: Insurance options such as replacement value protection plans contribute to the overall price. Higher-value plans cost more, but they protect your items. Going without protection saves money but carries financial risks if your items get damaged.
  • Move date: The move date is a crucial factor in determining the cost of a move. Moving between May and September will often come with higher rates because it’s peak season.
  • Move distance and shipping weight: Factors such as distance and shipping weight help determine the “line-haul fees,” which account for the majority of long-distance move costs. Movers need to have a defined weigh-in process for their trucks and stable per-mile rates to calculate these fees.
As part of our research for a moving provider, we requested sample quotes for a long-distance move that would take multiple days and involve moving a three-bedroom household. The average cost of the quotes received was $5,704.

How Do You Prepare for a Senior Citizen Move?

Moving can be physically and emotionally difficult for anyone, especially for seniors with limited mobility or those who’ve lived in their homes for decades. You can make preparing for a senior citizen move easier by asking for help, downsizing, and getting all available discounts.

Below is a complete list of recommendations if you’re a senior who’s moving or you’re helping to move an elderly loved one.

  • Ask for help: Don’t try to do any heavy lifting or long hours you’re uncomfortable with. Get help from family, friends, and professionals.
  • Be sensitive: Moving is a personal and emotional time, especially for someone who’s lived in their home for a long time. Be patient and listen if your loved one is having a hard time. Don’t rush them or dismiss their concerns. Don’t force them to get rid of items they’re attached to. Treat them how you would want to be treated.
  • Downsize: Moving is a great time to downsize. Create a donation corner for anything you no longer need or use to free up space in your new home. This also means you’ll need a smaller moving truck, which will save you money.
  • Get all available discounts: Moving discounts for seniors aren’t just available through moving companies. Look at organizations such as AARP and The Senior Citizens League to see where you may be able to get extra savings.
  • Label boxes: Reduce the stress of your move by staying on top of labeling your boxes. Clearly label what’s inside each box and which room it should go in your new residence.
  • Research and communicate about where they’re going: When it’s time for a senior to leave their living situation, have a conversation with them about where they want to live: in a new home, with relatives, or in a senior living community. There are various factors to consider when deciding where a senior should live next, such as medical care, accessibility, social interaction, and distance to family and friends.
  • Remove the stress: Your involvement should reduce stress, not add to it. Help keep the process organized and calm. Determine what kind of move should happen. If you have plenty of help from friends and family, want to save money, and want on-site storage options, you may want to consider a self-service mover such as U-Pack. If you want as much assistance and support as possible, a full-service mover, such as International Van Lines or American Van Lines, might be a better choice.

Expert Tips and Insights

We asked two experts to share their insights on how seniors and their family members can ease the transition to a new home. Read their tips below.

Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work
College of Public Health at George Mason University
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What advice do you have for helping seniors cope with the emotions and psychological impact of leaving a long-time home?
For seniors, moving out of a home you’ve loved for years can be really tough. It’s normal to feel sad, confused, or even scared. It’s important not to keep these feelings bottled up inside because they can affect your health, like causing headaches or making you lose your appetite. Talk about how you’re feeling with family, friends, or a professional. If talking feels too hard, try writing down your thoughts or drawing them. This can help you understand your feelings better. Remember, unless you have to move right away, give yourself some time to adjust to the idea. For families, it’s crucial to make sure the senior feels involved and important in the moving process. Research shows that older adults do much better after the move when they know that they made the choice and they had control over the decision. So, families and people surrounding the older adult should allow the older adult to be a part of the decision-making. They should have a say in the decision, as this can help them adjust better and feel more in control of their life.
What are some common concerns seniors have about moving to a new place, and how might they be addressed?
In the initial phases, lots of emotions may impact older adults who are leaving a long-time home. The degree and type of impact can differ depending on the reasons, the state of mental and physical health and well-being, and the place of destination. Research shows that there are four steps in the older adult’s health and well-being after a move: disorganization, reorganization, relationship building, and stabilization (Brooke, 1989). Studies have found that moving can be hard at first, but with the right support and a good match between the senior and their new home, they usually adjust well. My research (Hong and Chen, 2009) shows that moves can lead to a quick decline in the older adult’s physical and/or cognitive functioning, but the decline does not last long and does stabilize over time as long as the older adult is in a supportive environment where there is “a fit” between the person and the environment.
How can families support an older loved one through the moving process and transition to a new home?
It is important that the older adult feel safe and welcome. A “fit” between the person and the environment can happen in two ways. First, the physical environment should meet the older adult’s needs. For example, make sure that the older adult can move around the home without the risk of falling and live in a neighborhood without fear. Surround the older adult with familiar possessions. Familiar touch, smell, or sound can be helpful to give them comfort. Respect the older adult’s choices of items they want to keep. Second, the older adult should feel accepted by the social environment. Regular visits and support can make a big difference in helping them feel connected and happy in their new place. Help the older adult get connected to the people and places in their new home. Families can offer to help the older adult with packing their possessions and preparing the older adult by connecting them with “lifelines” (such as internet service), finding doctors, and becoming a “go-between” by connecting the older adult with local social and civic activities. Seek help from facility staff or neighbors to make the older adult feel welcome and accepted as soon as possible.
Why might seniors be more susceptible to moving company-related scams, and do you have tips for preventing such instances?
In many cases, older adults are susceptible to scams because the scams go after what I call “warm money.” Seniors are often targeted by scammers because they might be lonely and looking for companionship, making them more trusting of strangers. Scams usually sneak up on vulnerable older adult’s loneliness and isolation. Scammers can give older adults fake attention and tell them stories that are too good to be true, and older adults may show “their warmth” in return by believing in their scams.  To prevent scams, keep in regular touch with the senior, making sure they know they’re not alone in the moving process. A little bit of attention and care can go a long way in keeping them safe from scams.
Li-Mei Chen, Ph.D., MSW, currently serves as an assistant professor at the College of Public Health at George Mason University. She specializes in gerontological social work, focusing on productive aging and advocating for dementia and age-friendly communities. In addition to her professional achievements, Dr. Chen has also garnered extensive personal experience in caregiving, supporting two generations of older family members.
Professor of Gerontology and Sociology
University of NC Greensboro School of Health and Human Sciences
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What advice do you have for helping seniors cope with the emotions and psychological impact of leaving a long-time home?
Make the environment as familiar as you can. Try to set it up the same way the old environment was set up.
What are some common concerns seniors have about moving to a new place, and how might they be addressed?
Loss of friends, loss of familiarity in the environment, and disruption of routine. All sorts of things happen when you relocate. You lose your doctor, your dentist, the places you shop. All of that has to be reestablished. And it’s more complicated to do that now. So many seniors who have been aging in place for a long time haven’t had to look for a new doctor or find a new grocer. Depending on how active the older adult is, that can be pretty overwhelming.
How can families support an older loved one through the moving process and transition to a new home?
Help them keep in touch with long-term friends from their old neighborhood. Also, help them connect with new people through activities or groups. Our activities kind of channel us into contact with people who are like us, and we’re more likely to establish friendships with people we have things in common with. Also, give your older loved one time to go through their things if downsizing. It’s not psychologically kind to get rid of their stuff or redistribute it without allowing them time to go through it.
Dr. Rebecca Adams is a professor in UNCG’s undergraduate gerontology program, where she has received many honors related to her teaching and research. Her research interests include friendship, gerontology, and qualitative methods.

Our Conclusion

Moving won’t be stressful if you find the right company. We recommend International Van Lines if you want a reputable provider that will handle everything from start to finish. The company is available worldwide, offers full-service moving, protects high-value items, and provides comprehensive protection plan options.

American Van Lines is another great option for seniors because the company customizes packages with the help of specialty-trained movers to assist older adults. You might want to choose IMRG if you desire an efficient service that helps you get in touch with a reliable carrier for an affordable rate.

We recommend getting quotes from at least three moving companies to compare pricing before deciding on a provider. We also suggest reading each provider’s fine print and asking about shipment tracking.


FAQ About Moving Companies for Seniors

What is a senior move manager?

A senior move manager refers to a professional move organizer. They don’t offer actual moving services, but they manage the other tasks that go into moving a senior. For example, they may help arrange to sell, donate, or dispose of unwanted items. You can get in touch with a senior move manager via the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

What is relocation stress syndrome?

Relocation stress syndrome is a diagnosis characterized by symptoms such as anxiety, confusion, hopelessness, and loneliness. This syndrome sometimes occurs in senior adults after moving from their own home to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

How do you help an older person move?

You can help an older person move by simplifying the moving process, being sensitive to their needs, and helping with labor. Organize the process by labeling boxes, breaking the move into manageable tasks, and handling paperwork. Most importantly, listen to their needs and concerns, help them transition in their own time, and don’t force them to get rid of things they’re not ready for.

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Our Rating Methodology

We back up our moving company ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each company. We conduct research by reading through the company websites, analyzing customer reviews, conducting consumer surveys, requesting quotes, and speaking with customer representatives. We then score each moving company against our review standards for services, contents coverage, scheduling options, additional benefits and custom service options, and reputation among customers to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.