Collaboration with Senior Moves Partnership

Making your downsizing move easy: our collaboration with The Senior Moves Partnership

Sep 21, 2020

We all know that moving house can be stressful, but done right, downsizing is actually a really positive opportunity that can open up an exciting new chapter in someone’s life.

Alongside beautiful town centre homes, and properties for first time buyers, Lifestyle Residences specialises in creating luxury Independent Living apartments. Our latest development for the retirement market, Mulberry Court, is in the heart of Hampton Wick, a stone’s throw from the River Thames, and we are delighted to have recently begun a collaboration with The Senior Moves Partnership, a service formed to help take the headaches out of the downsizing process, for those embarking on a move into a retirement property. We sat down with the Director of The Senior Move Partnership, Amanda Fyfe, to learn more about what drove her to start up the firm, the role her team plays in the relocation process and her top tips for those pondering the decision to downsize.

What first prompted you to provide a senior moves service?

The idea for setting up a senior moves business first came to me when helping my own parents to downsize and relocate. Having gone through this experience myself, as a daughter I found the whole process extremely stressful and, after spending hours organising the logistical aspects of the move and making many long trips up and down the M5, I felt there had to be a better way – that’s why in 2012 I decided to set up The Senior Moves Partnership.

What is the philosophy of the business?

We pride ourselves on fostering mutual trust between the individual making the move and the Senior Moves Managers, sharing their excitement about embarking on a new adventure and smoothing the way to this positive next chapter in their life.

Our clients understand that our Senior Moves Managers are deeply invested in their wellbeing and in ensuring that they have as positive a relocation experience as possible. We form close working relationships with every individual we work with.

How do you and the team ensure a stress-free move?

We like to start working with our clients as soon as they officially finalise their move, to avoid a frantic last-minute rush which might cause unnecessary stress. Once we know the timeframe we have to play with, the team can start to work their magic, drawing up a bespoke plan to put clients’ minds at ease.

Our clients build up many treasured possessions over the years, so we often like to start by discussing which items they are keen to keep and those they’d like to rehome.  This is where we come in – as senior moves specialists, we break down the seemingly insurmountable task of sorting, de-cluttering and packing into smaller, more manageable steps, making the overall process seem a little less daunting.

How does your role work within the wider family dynamic?

While we listen to all relatives’ thoughts and suggestions when working with a family, enabling our client to remain in control of their move and the decisions made is particularly important to us.

Of course, should they wish to be actively involved, relatives will always have role to play in the downsizing process and are encouraged to liaise regularly with our Senior Move Managers. For those clients whose relatives live far away or overseas, the families often find real comfort in knowing that we are there to take care of the logistical aspects of the move and provide much-needed emotional support throughout the process.

How do clients usually feel about their big move?

We all know that moving house can be stressful, but done right, downsizing is actually a really positive opportunity that can open up an exciting new chapter in someone’s life. For many of our clients moving into a smaller, serviced property brings with it a wealth of benefits from a practical perspective – for instance, no requirement to clean or maintain the garden – not to mention the social benefits of having a ready-made community right on their doorstep.

What are the amazing stories that stand out to you from your work in this sector over the years?

That’s a difficult question – there are so many to choose from! As a general observation, making the decision to move into an independent living development has given many of our clients a thriving social life they simply weren’t able to enjoy before – with many people having lived alone in isolated, large properties prior to the move, having a group of peers close-by has been amazing for them and offered them a new-found sense of community.

I had a particularly rewarding experience assisting one client who had decided to move into a retirement complex a few years back, having lived the majority of his life in a large 5 bedroom property. He loved the freedom and the social opportunities the move afforded him and while living there went on to publish his first book about his time in the war at the grand age of 93!

Another one of our favourite clients who was in a similar position became a leading light in the social scene at her new property, founding the “single ladies 5 o’clock wine club”, now the most hotly anticipated social event of the week!