People with disabilities face disadvantages that other people don’t experience in a lot of situations, and moving is no different. Packing, loading furniture and even shopping for a new home can be more overwhelming for you than most. But with a little planning and the proper resources, you can take the steps to make sure your move is as stress-free as possible.
Know your available resources
There are loads of resources available for people with disabilities if you know where to look. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for example, offers financial assistance to those in need of help with housing. There are also plenty of other organizations that offer grants such as People with Disabilities, ADAPT and AUCD.
Assess your new home
Make sure that you assess your particular needs before beginning to search for a house. If you are buying, you will need to know your budget ahead of time and plan for any necessary modifications. But if you are renting, you will need to have a list prepared of requirements and make sure that the homes you look at either have those needs, or that your landlord is willing to make modifications. Check things like doorway width and wheelchair accessibility if you require a mobility device. And familiarize yourself with your renters’ rights when requesting changes.
Packing and unpacking
If you hire people or ask friends to help you pack, make sure that you are clear on the way you want your things organized. The best thing to do is ask them to pack by room and clearly label the boxes. Then when you arrive at your new home, you will be able to unpack one room at a time rather than carrying things around the house.
It is also important to pack an essentials box before anyone gets started. This will be a box or overnight bag that is either easy to access or packed with you inside your vehicle. It should contain medications, important phone numbers and paperwork required for people like your movers, utility companies, or landlord and any toiletries or sleeping attire you will need the first night you arrive.
The benefits of hiring movers
If you’ve never moved before, you might not know the benefits of hiring a moving and packing service until you’ve tried to do it yourself. For people with disabilities, it can be especially helpful to hire a service for many reasons, but here are just a few:
● Lifting heavy objects without damaging the objects or the walls around them.
● Freeing up your time to take care of things like changing health care providers and refilling medication.
● Insurance to cover any damage to your belongings.
Organize your health care services
Before you move, you will need to talk to your current physician about finding new health care providers near your new home. It is also important to make a list of nearby healthcare and emergency facilities so that you will be prepared for any situation the moment you arrive. Take a trip to visit your new physicians before you transfer your records to make sure they are a good fit. Your health care plan should be solid before making a move.
Planning ahead and keeping lists of important information can save you hours of headache and hassle in the long run. Keep in mind that most people cannot move without a little help in some areas, so don’t be afraid to ask. And most of all, do your research before hiring a mover to make sure you don’t end up getting scammed or paying too much for the services.
Brought to you by Patrick Young, Educator and Activist for Able USA.
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