Seniors Section: Ways to Manage a Senior move

Ways To Manage A Senior’s Move Smoothly: A Master Checklist Is An Essential Tool

The process of moving into a new home is exhausting, especially so for seniors. A move may lessen the distance from loved ones or simplify one’s daily routines, but it can also be an overwhelming and emotional change. There are a lot of steps to make a senior’s move happen smoothly from start to finish, and for most people, a thorough checklist is a lifesaver.

Start planning a senior’s move as early as possible

It can take months for a senior to decide they are ready to move, find a new home, get financing, declutter, and get into a new house. The Family Caregiver Alliance recommends planning six months to a year in advance (if time allows) to avoid overwhelming the senior. In addition, starting early allows plenty of time to get all the pieces of the moving puzzle into place.

Loved ones helping a senior organize a move may want to keep a notebook dedicated to checklists and all of the relevant details related to the move. This might include:

  • Calendar or timeline
  • To-do list
  • Running list of questions to address
  • Notes about who should receive various items that will be passed along
  • Details about the senior’s new home and financing details

When it comes to purchasing a new home, find an affordable area (Miami homes have been selling for $339,000 on average). SFGate details that there are some Federal Housing Administration financing options that are very attractive for seniors. For example, some FHA-backed loans require a minimal down payment, allowing seniors to keep more of their money accessible for expenses. In addition, they may be able to use Social Security and pensions to qualify for a mortgage with some of these FHA options. Some states offer financing assistance for seniors, and some local communities have opportunities available.

However, before you settle on a new home, take a good look at the neighborhood to ensure that it’s safe and suitable for your lifestyle. For example, do a quick Google search to learn more about it, and check local crime rates to ensure you’re not moving into a dangerous place. If you’re concerned about accessibility, it’s important to research this as well.

A master checklist keeps all important details in one place

Once a new home is chosen and financing is in place, it’s time to get serious about preparing for moving day. This is where a master checklist can be essential, as it can track both big tasks and the small ones that may otherwise fall to the wayside when things get busy. For example, you may need to include items like putting in a change of address at the post office or moving prescriptions to a new pharmacy before refills are needed.

A checklist, whether it is kept in a notebook, on a smartphone, or in a spreadsheet, should break tasks down into items that need to be done before, during, and after the move. Whatever method you choose to use for maintaining your checklist, you want it to be easy to organize and readily accessible. Apartment Search shares some smartphone apps that can be especially useful, like Evernote and My Move.

Think ahead to items needed right away in the new place

The Senior List recommends packing a suitcase with some essentials, including items to unpack immediately in the new home to help the senior feel settled (familiar knickknacks, blankets, or vinyl records, for instance). Medications and medical equipment need to be in this bag, along with toiletries, a change of clothes, some favorite mementos or photos, and basics like toilet paper, paper towels, and a few kitchen items. This way, the senior can get by for a day or two without worrying about getting everything organized.

Keeping track of everything related to a senior’s move can be difficult as there are many processes to manage. A checklist can keep all of the most important details, ideas, and to-do items all in one place. Staying organized is one of the best ways to help your senior transition to a new home smoothly and this is where a master checklist can fit the bill.

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