By: Patrick Young
If you’re disabled, chances are you’ve already got a handle on how to live your life independently. But if moving is on the horizon, you’re entering the same realm of stress as anyone else going through this process. Even so, it’s important to note that there are a few extra precautions — and benefits — to consider as you prepare and execute a move.
Scope out services
Unless you’re living in an assisted living facility, it’s crucial that you check out what type of services— especially in the medical arena — before choosing your next location. Health care aside, consider what’s important to you from a recreational, social and general convenience standpoint before you begin your new life.
Your disability benefits
While you shouldn’t seen any change in your benefits (with Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI) — even if you move to a different state — it may be necessary to inquire further if you’re applying for state supplemental benefits.
Finding the right mover
Before you make a final decision on a mover, ask whether or not they have experience assisting people with disabilities. This can include anything from full packing at your original home to unpacking at your new destination. Be sure to mention to your mover if you requested financial assistance to ensure you have a reduced rate that you can count on for your budget.
Make modifications to new home
There are many considerations to make before randomly choosing a new home. Unless it’s already been inhabited by a disabled individual, you’re going to need to make the necessary changes to ensure your new abode is adaptable to your new life. This includes anything from wheelchair ramps at the entryway to hallways that are at least 42” wide to specialized door knobs in kitchens and bathrooms. It’s crucial that budget be instituted before moving into the proper home (a low-level ranch or bungalow sans stairs is best) before moving in.
Ask for help
While it may feel awkward to ask friends for help, extra assistance can go a long way in terms of physical and mental support. Just don’t wait until the last minute — knowing how much help you have in advance will make it easier to plan the packing and moving process. Make the experience like a fun get-together by providing some food and an energetic playlist.
Nothing is worse than moving into a new home without proper electricity, gas, heating and air conditioning. This should be done at least one day prior so lack of utilities doesn’t disrupt the move-in process.
Check your new home for safety
Before you move in, make sure that all areas of the home — from the entryway to general living spaces — are safe and free from clutter or any other potential hazards.
Organize as you unpack
Perhaps one of the best things you can do to when unpacking is to organize as you go. This means setting up your home to meet the needs of your schedule, as well as your disability. Make sure necessities are easy to reach and in a safe place.
Moving can be an exciting milestone, but it certainly comes with its fair share of weight. There are many details to consider, so it’s not a bad idea to create a timeline and checklist to alleviate as much stress as possible. By the time you move into your new home, you’ll be able to get settled faster and begin the next chapter of your life.
Patrick Young created AbleUSA to offer resources to people with disabilities and offer advice about navigating various aspect of life. Thanks for your contribution, Patrick!
Photo Credit: Pixabay