Moving checklist: Moving with senior citizens
Safety, comfort and ease are all imperative when it comes to moves for seniors. Whether you’re moving elderly parents so they enjoy their golden years, or you’re a senior downsizing your home and moving closer to family and friends, there are some key steps you can take to make the move manageable.
Here’s some helpful tips for moving as a senior successfully:
1. Have a moving checklist
With a seniors moving checklist, you can ensure you're checking off each crucial item that needs to get done. It will provide a complete perspective of the upcoming deadlines for your move, so you can stay on target and make your move a success.
Here are some essential tasks to accomplish before moving as a senior, or with seniors:
Two Months Before the Move
- Check for mobile accessibility. Your elderly parents should be able to move around their new home without any limitations. Make sure the new home provides accommodations for accessible design so that it’s easy to get around or use the house, such as a wheelchair ramp. Think for the future as well – even if there aren’t any mobility issues now, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make access as easy as possible.
- Get moving quotes. Get an estimate to know what you can expect to pay for the move. A quality moving company provides you with an in-person or video walkthrough for an accurate quote. Here’s some tips on how to get an accurate moving quote. The most important tip, however, is to make sure that you get a full quote and there will be no surprises on moving day.
- Sort and organize belongings. This decluttering process makes your move easier, so you don’t end up bringing items you won’t use in the new home. Understandably, it can be difficult for the more mature among us to get rid of things that we’ve had for decades. If it’s helpful, give things away to family members for safe keeping, or find a mover who also does long-term storage.
- Book your movers. Movers can book up quickly in high moving seasons, such as summertime, or on a weekend. If you know the date you’ll be moving, make sure to book your day as soon as possible.
One Month Before the Move
- Make a list of valuables. Write down the essential items that are coming into the new home.
- Double-check your moving arrangements. Reconfirm your scheduled appointment with your movers to ensure you know the time and date of the move.
- Begin the packing process. Pack important documents and valuables well in advance so you don’t leave anything behind.
- Get in touch with your physicians. Use this as an opportunity to touch base with physicians to ensure prescriptions are up-to-date. They may also have some advice or caution for the moving process, depending on any medical issues.
- You may also need to change pharmacies, and physician’s offices should be updated with the new address so new prescriptions aren’t sent to the wrong location
One Week Before the Move
- Pack any prescribed medication. Small items like medication are easy to forget the closer you get to your move day. Pack them in an easy to access (because they will still need to be taken over the next week) but impossible to forget place.
- Set up a charity pickup. Save yourself time and back issues by scheduling for a donation truck to visit your home to pick up items you’ll be donating to charity before the move.
- Forward the mail. Arrange for the mail to go to the new address and inform important companies, such as your insurance company and other billers, of the address change.
- Verify your movers. Ensure you are working with the right moving company by checking for company logos on the movers’ truck and uniforms.
- Get a walkthrough of the home. Make sure the home is in a good condition before you leave the property by doing a walkthrough with the real estate agent or property manager.
- Read and sign the moving documents. Thoroughly review the fine print and ask any questions you may have before signing the final documents for your move.
2. Communicate consistently
When you're moving with the help of your family, or if you’re moving your elderly parents, it's important to keep everyone in the loop about what's going on during the move.. Consistent communication is key to keeping stress down during the move process. If everyone is clear on what is happening, it makes it easier to focus on helping your parents, or helping your family through what can be an emotional process. Discuss the ideal housing options, such as a nursing home, retirement community, or simply a smaller space, to decide what is going to be the best option.
3. Pay a visit to the new home
When you have time, make sure to visit the new home. Several times if possible. Whether you're planning the move to an active adult community or a single-family home close to your residence, it's important to pay a visit to the new home so everyone can get a sense of what it's like to live in the new neighborhood and home.
It’s also important to visit the new home to check for needed living accommodations, including universal design for mobility, bathtubs with handlebars, or on-site nursing staff. Make time to visit the new location at least two months before the move so you have enough time to determine if the home is the right place for your elderly parents, or to schedule needed updates.
4. Research moving companies
Especially as a senior, it is critical to research the companies you plan to use to coordinate the move.. When you use moving companies that have experience with moving seniors, you can rely on them to get the move done correctly and be considerate, polite and accommodating of your needs.
Start your research by selecting at least three moving companies to compare. Consider the cost and capabilities each one offers. Ask about any additional fees that may not be included in your move and determine what the insurance includes. Also, inquire about the vetting process of their staff. Find out how in-depth the background checks are and understand who will move your senior parents' items.
Some moving companies outsource the moving process and use contractors. So, understanding who is handling your elderly parents' valuables is crucial to know.
When choosing a moving company, consider choosing professional movers who have senior move managers and are members of a reputable association, such as the National Association of Senior Move Managers.
When you use movers for seniors, you can count on a team of experts who know how to manage the move safely and appropriately.
Moving companies who have experience with seniors also understand the importance of going over every detail so that everyone involved knows what to expect. They will also have move coordinators on staff to help with managing other important parts of the move, including arranging storage, packing and house cleaning for the current residence.
Make sure to ask about the moving process and what to expect. Reputable moving companies will provide you with a thorough walkthrough of your home before you move to ensure they provide you with an accurate estimate. For example, Suddath® provides a careful walkthrough of the property to ensure you are receiving an accurate moving estimate.
The walkthrough involves verifying the number of belongings per room you need to be moved as well as the size of the room. Quality moving companies also can help you get a true estimate by including rooms in the estimate that you may easily overlook, such as the garage or basement. The walkthrough is also important so that the movers can devise a plan for the logistics of the move, including moving delicate art or large pieces of furniture.
5. Think about health
Before you move to your new home, it’s important to have a medical plan in place. As you age, healthcare becomes something that cannot be put off. So, it’s important to ensure you or your elderly parents have a plan for their health well in advance of the move. Start by taking the time to speak to doctors about moving plans, including advising them of your new location. If the move is out of the county or state, for example, insurance providers may need to be switched. Your medical team may also need time to forward important health records to your new physicians.
Speaking with your doctors also gives you the opportunity to discuss the appropriate options for packing medication and even getting recommendations for doctors, dentists and therapists in your new community. If you need any medical records that require your current physician’s approval, ask your doctor or her medical team to assist you with this process. Also, schedule any final doctor or dental visits before your move. If you start taking care of these matters at least one to two months before the move, you can ensure you get the appointment times, care and advice you need in time for your move.
6. Book your movers
Whether you’re heading across state lines or just moving across the county, it's important to book your movers well in advance of your move. When you wait too late, you risk losing the moving dates you need.
You can avoid missing out on a crucial appointment date by booking your moving company at least two months in advance of your move. Booking the moving company of your choice as soon as you make your final selection rather than waiting is also ideal to ensure you have the scheduled appointment you want. Make sure you’re aware of all the costs involved and review it with your movers while you’re scheduling your appointment. Also, take this time to schedule time off work if necessary to so you have free time to dedicate to the move.
7. Manage the mail and payments
It’s important to manage all mail and payments before the move. Contact the appropriate parties at least one week prior to the moving day. Arrange to redirect mail by visiting the local post office. Just remember to bring proof of your primary address and two forms of identification, such as a current driver’s license and homeowner’s insurance policy.
You can also save time by filling out the change-of-address form online through USPS’ website. By forwarding your mail and managing payments in advance, you can ensure important documents and payments aren't missed.
8. Sort and organize
Take an inventory of your items and start sorting valuables. It’s also helpful to take pictures of the current home and items. That way you will know how furniture is arranged and have a quick snapshot reference of the valuables you’ll be packing. Sort items into piles and label them based off of what you’re planning to toss, sell, move or donate. Get the entire family involved so you have extra help with sorting and organizing items and valuables. Make sure to have valuable items you’re considering selling or donating appraised to determine their value, such as antiques, artwork or a set of China dinnerware. By getting an appraisal, you can determine if it’s worth selling. An appraisal also makes it easier to determine the value of these unique pieces for insurance purposes.
Also, this is the time to donate any items you won't be bringing to the new home. You can donate any items that can be worn or used but aren’t coming to the new home. Make sure they are in good condition and arrange to have a charity pickup truck come to your elderly parents’ home or your home at least one week before the move.
9. Prepare for packing (and unpacking)
It seems simple: you pack, and then you unpack. But it can be extremely helpful, especially when moving seniors, to have a packing plan. Before your move, set out exactly how you’ll pack and unpack your items. Pack up important, everyday items last, and unpack them first, for example. Use the inventory you took when sorting and organizing your items can also be used to determine the types of packing supplies you’ll need. For instance, if you know you’ll be packing breakable items, such as dinnerware or glasses, make sure to include bubble wrap and newspaper as part of the supplies list for your packing plan.
Consider other important materials, such as boxes and labels, to ensure your packing and unpacking process is as organized as possible and stress-free. Make sure to label all boxes clearly, including using different color labels marked with the room name. This makes unpacking simple since you know which box has the items for your bedroom, kitchen and other important rooms in the new home, and your movers will know where to set every box.
You can also leverage senior move managers to coordinate the packing and unpacking tasks for your elderly parents. For example, a senior moving manager can arrange for storage and ensure you have professional movers that are familiar with the goals of your packing and unpacking plan. Make sure you take time to clean the home a least a week before you leave so you don’t forget any items or have potential hazards in the way of your move day. You can also get the help of a cleaning service to make the cleaning process easier and fast.
10. Make the Move
When moving day arrives, there is a lot of activity that typically goes on. So, it's important to have an idea of what to expect. When you’re working with reputable moving companies, you can expect to have a thorough walkthrough of the home before the move and an efficient moving process. But it’s also important to make the move manageable for everyone by ensuring you’re working with the right team. To make your move smooth, make sure you verify your movers. You can easily identify your movers by making sure the logos on their moving trucks and uniforms match the company logos and asking for ID.
Again, make sure to move the most valuable pre-packed items to the front so that they are the first to be loaded on the moving truck. That way you can ensure that won’t be overlooked during the moving process.
Before signing final moving papers and documents on move day, make sure everything is in writing and review all documents before you sign on the dotted line.. By taking these brief but valuable steps, you can avoid potential moving scams and ensure your valuables or your senior parents’ belongings are going to the right people.
11. Settle in and celebrate
After all your valuables are moved into the new home, it's time to get settled and unpack your items. Follow your unpacking plan and double-check that all the items from your inventory are in the home. Unload items per room so you can make the unpacking process organized.
Make sure to take a tour of the neighborhood with your family and help everyone get acquainted with the new community – and maybe even meet the neighbors. Visit places you or your elderly parents plan to go to frequently, such as the local grocery store, farmer’s market or library.
The local grocery store will be especially important - make sure the new home has enough food for at least a few days, and maybe even a few pre-made meals.
When moving elderly parents, it’s important to spend time with them after the move. Don’t forget to take time to relax and celebrate a successful move. Arrange a special get-together with family and friends and consider visiting the new neighbors. It’s a great way to get to know the people in the neighborhood as while being around loved ones at the same time.
Make your move manageable with expert movers for seniors
Moving your elderly parents isn’t simple, but it is a lot easier on everyone when you use a reliable team of move experts who are trained to handle the task at hand. That’s why it’s important to vet the moving companies you plan to work with and ensure they’re the right fit for you and your elderly parents.
The Suddath® team prides itself in helping you streamline the moving process with a team of professional movers and move coordinators who have experience with moving seniors to their new homes successfully. As a full-service professional moving company, you can count on the expertise and experience of our team to make your move smooth.
Find out more about the helpful resources and complete moving services we have to offer and reach out for a free moving estimate to start your successful move.
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