About 30% of older adults have established a formal long-term care plan. One part of the planning process is to identify and understand the risks when an elder decides to move. Even vigilant caregivers and family members are unlikely to be aware of the new and emerging hazards Mom and Dad face when beginning the process of moving to a new residence.

Guest article by Chris Seman and Nan Hayes

Avoiding Hazards when Moving
Older adults are increasingly vulnerable to financially motivated, move-related scams. Con artists keep inventing new ways to defraud Mom and Dad as they struggle with volumes of household goods. While caregiving families may help their parents decide where to move, they aren’t often aware of the precautions to take when deciding how to move.

Few families properly screen and vet the service providers they allow to sort, sell, organize or pack their possessions. Some adult children are so overwhelmed by the thought of downsizing and decluttering their parents’ home they hire just about anyone to help quickly and cheaply carry out the tedious and time-consuming tasks.

Unfortunately, many fail to realize that most downsizing and relocation services are largely unregulated. This includes services like tag sales, estate sales, organizing, junk removal, storage, and even some moving services.

For example, there are an estimated 14,000 estate sale providers in the U.S. according to There are also an increasing number of complaints. One popular scheme involves under-valuing items that are then sold to known parties, who resell them at a much higher price and split the proceeds. Another scheme involves outright theft of items in the home.