Plan ahead and consult family for smoother moves

Senior housing expert offers tips for safe moving during COVID-19

Midsection of a strong man carrying box. Moving boxes are piled on the floor.

There are always going to be at least two parts to the decision to move to another dwelling.

No. 1 is the home you’re leaving. No. 2 is where you’re going. Both parts of the transition come with challenges.

Some of us get more practice than others when it comes to moving. There are guidelines to help you, however.

If contemplating a move to a senior living community, what matches up best with what you want? Items to consider include location and level of services and amenities.

“When you’re thinking of moving, you should get your kids involved,” said Allyson Tator, executive manager of Good Samaritan Society – Fox Run Senior Living in Greeley, Colorado.

“You should be realistic about the location in terms of people who live close by who can support you. It’s contingent on age, but there are likely things you’re going need them for. You want them to be part of the process looking for a location and asking questions.”

Summer months are typically the busiest for moving. In addition to normal anticipated challenges, this particular summer also includes obstacles presented by the coronavirus.

5 tips for safe moving

Here are some tips to consider:

Get estimates from moving companies. Get recommendations from at least two moving companies as soon as you have a moving date. Typically, moving companies visit a home beforehand to check out how much stuff will need to be moved. With COVID-19, some are now doing virtual or online estimates in case potential customers want to limit access to their home. Be sure to ask lots of questions whether virtual or in-person.

“Make sure you understand what a location’s requirements are,” Tator said. “Most Good Samaritan locations have only certain moving companies permitted in their buildings and certain hours they’re allowed to be there. It’s a really good idea to do background checks, too. Are they insured and bonded and able to cover everything?”

Prepare by downsizing. Many have realized during the pandemic that they actually don’t need or use a lot of the stuff in their homes. A move is a great opportunity to get rid of it. Start going through your possessions as early as possible. If you have items to donate, be sure to check the organization’s website for any new rules about donating during this time.

Ultimately, downsizing can be a quality-of-life issue.

“It’s always going to be difficult to leave a home where you have so many memories,” Tator said. “But when family members visit, they just want to be family members. They don’t want to come over and mow the lawn and clean the house. They want to spend time with Mom and Dad. By downsizing, you’re able to enjoy your life and also feel like you’re independent because you have a smaller place to maintain.”

Prioritize your packing. Begin by packing items that you don’t use on a daily basis, like books, extra linens, decor, and off-season clothing. If you’re hiring a moving company to pack or unpack, ask about its safety measures. Since COVID-19, there are many companies offering “contactless” moves where employees always maintain social distancing, wear masks and gloves, and avoid handshakes. It’s also a good idea to limit the number of family members in your home while the work is being done.

“We just had a new resident come in who had every box labeled by content but also where it was going in the new place,” Tator said. “They didn’t have to worry about where the movers took something and they didn’t have to do any heavy lifting.”

Keep cleaning supplies handy. Don’t pack away soap, wipes, or other cleaning supplies, because they will come in handy for moving. Having cleaning supplies within constant reach only helps with the effort to make it as safe and clean of a move as possible. High-touch items in a home such as railings and handles will likely see a lot of action during a move, so for the safety of you and your helpers be sure to give these areas extra attention.

Consider community rules. If you’re moving in or out of an apartment building, there are probably new processes in place for moves. Companies are taking their responsibility to keep everyone safe very seriously. Some locations have new protocols in place like staggering move-in schedules, limiting the number of people in their buildings and ensuring everyone has the necessary supplies to keep them safe. Be sure you confirm your schedule a day or two before your move to ensure nothing has changed.

Learn more

Posted In Coronavirus, Senior Services, Wellness