by: Tehila Mörtl
Having moved a fair number of times throughout our life together, I like many, have come up with tactics that make the process not only easier but less intimidating once in our new home. As we begin this installment on senior moves, please allow me to share one thing which I have found most helpful.
Prior to packing, we would print large labels for boxes noting end destination in new home such as: kitchen, dining room, master bedroom, mater bath, guest room, guest bath, office, library and sewing/crafts room. Each box would be labeled and then depending on end destination, we would stack in a specific corner of the home we were moving from. This tactic is one we employed in all but our last move would highly recommend utilizing such for all senior moves.
Following is a list of other hints for senior moves which I would also like to share:
Establish a timeframe for sorting, downsizing, packing and moving.
When packing, begin in a room or area that will have the fewest sentimental items such as a bathroom.
Decide if you might want to enlist help with some or all aspects of move and arrange for such.
Take photographs of current home to help keep the years of precious memories alive and at hand.
Hire a Senior Moving Company and/or whatever other professionals in areas in which you will need assistance.
Decide which personal items and pieces of furniture will be of most importance in new home.
If needed, seek assistance in establishing what items will fit best in your elder’s new home.
Obtain a floor plan or layout of new residence and take measurements.
Pack special valuables and memorabilia separately and label as appropriate, including writing or stamping FRAGILE on labels.
Establish who will be present on move date and confirm arrangements.
Decide who will assist with unpacking and organization.
Arrange for someone to accompany your elder on the date of move and daily for a few weeks following.
Send personal moving notifications to friends and family; particularly, those who might live at a distance.
Obtain invitations to send to friends and family to visit once move is complete.
Make arrangements ahead of time to notify credit card, insurance companies and other billers and medical providers of change of address, phone, etc.
Will your elder be able to maintain or need to change medical practitioners? If new ones will be required, get referrals to all medical professionals that will be needed and arrange to have medical records transferred.
Whether keeping the same service providers or having to change, establish how your elder will be transported to and from their offices and get directions.
Obtain listing of places of worship in new home area.
Request information on activities available, including exercise and hobbies.
One other important goal to meet once moved is meeting other individuals within a new community. If in independent living, is there a newcomer’s club available in the area? If moving into a care facility or community, find out in advance what activities are offered.
Allow your elder space and time when going through the packing process not only to minimize stress for all concerned but to allow them a sense of closure when the move is final.
To ensure the professionals you hire are fully qualified, requirements to establish and questions you will want to ask:
A written contract
Liability insurance and workers’ compensation
Specifics of what insurance covers and if homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers moving
Rates and fees changed - Always obtain estimates in writing.
Find out exactly what services the moving company offers (i.e. senior move management, packing).
Secure photographic inventory documentation.
Establish if downsizing recommendations regarding keeping or disposing of items, packing, unpacking, and resettling services are available.
When moving one’s elder, give them tasks which they can perform to establish feelings of accomplishment and help maintain a sense of control.
The final, important box of items which will be needed right after move should contain medications, toiletries, linens, clothing, dishes, toilet paper, other paper/plastic items, etc. that your elder will need when their first awake and while unpacking.
End the last day before the final move on a quiet note. This is an opportune time to reminisce over a cup of tea sharing memories you and your elder have made in their current home and to hear stories you might not otherwise be familiar with.
Even with the best of preparations, moving day can be stressful and one can easily forget to eat. Ensure adequate nutrition and hydration. Plan ahead for easy, healthy meals, snacks and beverages.
Stay on schedule with medication!
Whether you are ready to move as quickly as possible or you are just starting to think about this as an option, we encourage you to give us a call at 646-820-9202 and speak with one of our senior care consultants. They will be able to assist you with making all the necessary arrangements and answer any questions you might have to begin the process. Most of the services we provide for our elderly clients and their families are completely free since we work on referral basis with firms we trust. If you are in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island or the Bronx please get in touch with us to learn how we can help you today.