The Bekins Blog

[Case Study] Older Adults Get a Head Start on Their Second Chapters

April 19, 2024 | Senior Moves

Erickson Senior Living, a leader in senior living communities, offers 24 top-notch locations across 11 states, with a notable $4 billion expansion underway. These communities cater to a vibrant retirement lifestyle, attracting active individuals in their 70s. Residents enjoy a variety of stylish apartment homes, extensive amenities and comprehensive healthcare services, including on-site medical centers.

Erickson Senior Living & Bekins Partnership

Erickson senior living logo.

Erickson Senior Living further stands out from the crowd because of its partnership with Bekins Van Lines. Oftentimes, residents move to an out-of-state Erickson location, which complicates the process of getting settled into the community. Our relationship with Erickson significantly lightens the load of stress that moving can cause to older residents. 

Over the years, we saw the need for more specialized care for older adult customers. That’s why our training team worked with the National Association of Senior Move Managers to develop Silver Certification. Silver Certification is a training program designed to instruct local moving agents on better assisting older adult customers. In the process of certification, each local moving company dedicates five of its employees from every level of the organization to the focused training. 

The Statistics: Moving as an Older Adult

The dynamics of relocation among older adults in the United States reveal interesting trends, particularly in the frequency and nature of their moves.

  • Over 3 million adults aged 65 and over, representing approximately 6.2% of this age group, moved in the last year.
  • A slightly higher movement percentage (7.4%) was observed in the 55 to 64 age bracket.
  • Around 58% of these relocations were within the same county.
  • The trend of short-distance moves increases with age, peaking at 64% for those aged 85 and older, often due to health reasons.
  • Older adults with disabilities are more likely to move and generally prefer shorter distances.
  • From 2015 to 2019, more than 600,000 individuals aged 65 and above moved out-of-state.
  • A 2.1% increase in out-of-state moves was noted across all age groups from 2019 to 2021, likely influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The 65 to 74 age group showed a higher propensity for out-of-state moves, often to warmer climates or to be closer to family.
  • The South, particularly Florida, has seen the most significant influx of older migrants over a five-year period.

Elderly couple with bekins employee.

Challenges: What it Means to Move as an Older Adult 

1. Downsizing 

Housing transitions for older adults can often include downsizing—these  items must be delivered to multiple residences, such as the older adult’s new home and the homes of multiple adult children.

2. Physical Limits 

Physical abilities can limit older adults from many parts of the move. 

3. Extra Assistance

In cases where dementia or other maladies affect the homeowner, a surrogate may need to be involved in the move. After living in a home for decades, sometimes raising their children there, it can be difficult emotionally for an older adult to leave. 

4. Vulnerability to Rogue Movers 

Older adults have an increased risk of being taken advantage of by a rogue mover.

Hands on cane.

Avoiding Moving Fraud

Thousands of Americans experience moving fraud every year. Older adults are far more likely to be targeted with scams because of greater amassed wealth and the potential for cognitive decline. 

That’s why Bekins and our agents work to educate our customers on what to look for when choosing a mover. Check out a few of our rogue moving resources: 

Working Together to Provide Stress-Free Moves

Prior to our relationship with Erickson Senior Living, new residents were responsible for contacting a moving company, setting up the time for their move-in and updating the company on the community’s move-in policy. It was a lot of work for new residents at a time when they had a lot on their minds. 

That situation was stressful for staff as well. With multiple movers from different companies entering the facility—many for the first time—staff had to continually repeat policies, methods for reserving elevator time and more. 

“I remember one couple who wanted someone from their church in California to move them. It was another big van line. The couple who moved them in were just awful.” Beth Brandenburg, Wind Crest Community in Denver says. “The residents moving in sat on their sofa and cried. The move didn’t finish until after 9:00 at night.” 

Elderly man smiling.

After instituting our relationship with the community, the entire process became more streamlined. Erickson coordinators let new residents know that we’d be in touch as soon as their unit came available. This communication made for one less thing the older adult needed to worry about. The coordinators, too, were able to move on, knowing the logistics of the new resident’s move-in would be taken care of in a timely manner. 

Additionally, strangers in the community were no longer an issue. We reserve our network’s best crews for Erickson moves; that meant the same individuals often serviced each resident’s move. Over time, these crews got to know Erickson staff and residents, resulting in high fives, hugs and good banter. 


Partnership Testimonials

“We can feel confident that the crew understands our expectations and guidelines so we don’t have to worry about them parking someplace they shouldn’t, propping doors open, blocking hallways, etc. This allows for a move to not be disruptive to current residents.”

– Beth Brandenburg | Wind Crest Planning & Moving Consultant

“Excellent job. Driver was superb. Would insist on having him for any move…Exact timing of both ends. Efficient. Price was reduced because we got rid of some furniture. Felt the weight was honest.”

– Wes & Jackie L. | Wind Crest residents

“Wind Crest explained that Bekins understood and complied with Wind Crest’s requirements to move residents in. I spent 30 years in the Navy and had a lot of interstate moves. This was the best that I had experienced. I wish to commend the Customer Service representative with whom we worked: Salina Furtrelle and the driver, Adrian Houle. Both were very professional, responsive to our requests and made the move experience a positive one. We particularly appreciated that we had a door-to-door move: the truck came down from Denver, packed and loaded our possessions (with another rental truck obtained in Albuquerque) and drove them back to Denver for delivery 2 days later.”

– Ray W. | Wind Crest resident


Get in Touch with Wheaton | Bekins 

If you’re a senior living community and you’d like to learn more about a partnership with Wheaton | Bekins, reach out to our Older Adult Ambassador, Todd Emrick. Or if you’d like to get started with an older adult move, find your local agent or request a free, no-obligation estimate.

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