Two Moves, One Month and a Surgery – Oh My!
By Trish Hughes Kreis for Assisted Living Directory
Moves! Moves are challenging enough but add in caregiving duties and it can really drive a person to binge on chocolate!
These actionable tips pick up where Part One left off and will help you have a successful and, hopefully, less stressful move.
- Set Aside Time to Change Addresses. When moving with a caree there are a lot more addresses to change than if you were moving just yourself. Create a list of all addresses to change and remember to include the following:
a) Medical supply companies. Be sure to notify the company who provides the hospital bed, oxygen or other medical equipment as well as supplies such as briefs;
b) Social Security and Medicare as well as Medicaid if applicable;
c) Any other social services agency that provides services for your caree (the day program, the transportation service, etc.);
d) Be sure to notify the pharmacy of your new address and find out if the company has a location in the new area. Have all the prescriptions transferred to the new location and talk with someone at the new location to confirm the medications have been transferred. I also made sure the new prescriptions had the same notes associated with them (non-generic, automatic refills, texting when filled, etc.).
e) All doctors and specialists. Even if all the physicians are within the same medical group be sure to double check with each individual office to be sure the home address, phone number and pharmacy information has been changed;
f) And, yes, you also need to notify the US Postal Service but these days you can do so online which saves a lot of time
- Update Legal Documents. A move is a great time to update (or create) the Durable Power of Attorney document as well as an Advanced Directive. Depending on the complexity of the situation, these documents can be created by an attorney or found on a legal forms website which can be completed at home and then notarized.
- Personally Move the Essentials. Items like medications, medical supplies, toothbrush and toothpaste and a change of clothes are best moved personally by you. You will have immediate access to them during the chaos of a move and when you can’t quite find anything else yet. Don’t forget the toilet paper!
- After the Move. Once moved, set up the essentials for both you and the caree. Make sure you and your caree have a place to sleep – with sheets, blankets and pillows. There will be plenty of things to unpack but don’t rush to do it all at once. Take time to recover from the move and ease into unpacking. The boxes will multiply but eventually everything will be in order.
- Keep to Routines. Change is difficult for carees, caregivers and employees. Routines are disrupted during a move so do as much as possible to maintain these routines. When we moved our home we did so on a Tuesday and sent Robert to Day Program like any other day. We prepared him for the move and told him he would be arriving to a new house at the end of the day. He was excited but it was best he went to his program during the actual move. By the time he arrived to our new home, his bed was set up and his briefs and medications were accessible. He resumed his normal schedule the next day and went to Day Program.
- Be Kind to Yourself. There will invariably be items you wanted to handle before the move or that you forgot. That is okay! Everything can be resolved and it will not help to kick yourself for forgetting or pushing the task past the move date. If it makes you feel any better, I still have unpacked boxes sitting in my family room and am continuing to reorganize my office. I even still have a box of shoes I have yet to unpack! Nothing could be worse than that.
About that surgery: My husband had outpatient surgery on both of his legs to correct a vascular issue five days before we moved and we actually wondered if he would be able to walk by the time of the move. Fortunately, he recovered within a few days although he dealt with a resulting infection for weeks afterwards.
As caregivers, we cannot predict what medical emergencies are around the corner and sometimes we have to just add them to the list while we continue to plan and prepare for something as big as a move (or two).
I am hopeful these tips will help you have a smooth move whether you have one, two or more in your future!
Top photo by M. Movers