Going through the moving process at any time of the year can be a stressful ordeal. Moving during the Winter, however, brings its own set of challenges and safety hazards. This is especially true for older adults.
Winter moves are generally avoided but when forced due to circumstances out of everyone’s control, we suggest following these tips to ensure a safe moving process:
It is easy to get distracted from health routines during a busy life event. Keeping health and safety a priority is especially important at a time when stress itself can affect one's health. If there are any known health issues (Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Diabetes, etc.) make sure the required routines stay in place and everything that is needed to remain comfortable and safe is easily accessible, organized, and in one location.
For example, use a travel case for medication during the relocation. Set alarms on a phone or a watch as a reminder that it is time to take medication. In most cases, medication should be taken with food or a beverage. This in itself is a reminder to stay hydrated and well-fed. Don’t skip any meals!
Retirement communities complete a health assessment before committing to taking on a new resident. This is to ensure that the level of care they provide meets with the current and future healthcare needs of the said residents. It is also a good opportunity to integrate a well-thought-out plan and seek support for care on moving day. Thus, ensuring the transition into the new home is made as smoothly as possible. Limiting as many obstacles during such a life event is often more important than one would first assume!
It is important to establish a personalized care plan at the residence. This determines which services are included and which services are considered additional “a la carte”. Ask as many questions as possible prior to the moving day.
It is important to know that the residence has everything needed. And, if something is unavailable, it is important to secure the service elsewhere. Examples of additional services that may not be included in the residence would be mobile dentists, mobile blood tests, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.
One of the best ways to set yourself up for success with any moving experience is to plan well in advance. Ideally, you would have a three-month window of time (at least) between preparing to move and the actual moving day.
Of course, there may be times when a last-minute move is the only option. While we hope these situations are few and far between, it is important to use whatever time you do have wisely.
While preparing to move may happen a few months or even years in advance, it is important to keep in mind what season the actual moving day will take place in. Each season comes with its own benefits and disadvantages.
One of the prime aspects of moving during the Winter is that there are generally fewer people moving. This is important when it comes to hiring moving services as it will be easier to book them for the desired date.
You may also consider hiring a downsizing/senior move management company. These are companies that specialize in senior transitions. They can be a valuable service that can assess which belongings and furniture will fit into your new dwelling. They can assist with packing, and decluttering and they can even set up your new apartment including the hanging of frames and furniture set up.
It is also important to consider the fact that certain weather conditions can make moving more dangerous. For example, if it is snow season, flooring should be protected from wet boots to reduce the chance of slipping. The last thing anyone wants is to have someone injured throughout the process! Safety should always be handled with the foremost priority.
Some of the other safety precautions that should be used while moving a senior’s residence are the following:
• Dress appropriately: Always remember that it is better to be able to remove a layer than it is to go without and wish you had another layer! For example, you may find yourself near an open door while the moving team loads all the items onto the truck, bringing in a cold draft.
• Wear loose layers: Having space between the layers to keep the warm body heat circulating is important.
• Wear the proper boots: Make sure they have good traction in case of ice, snow, hail, and sleet.
• Pack a second outfit, socks, and all. If, for whatever reason, the outfit you wear gets wet, be sure to have a backup set of clothing. No one wants to stay in cold, damp clothing.
• Keep an eye on the weather reports: Have a second plan in case a storm or unsafe weather conditions cause a delay for the moving day.
These are only a few considerations to ensure moving safely during the winter. Ensuring a move is done efficiently (and more importantly, safely) is everyone’s goal. As a member of the National Association of Specialty & Senior Move Managers, Alivio Solution is trained in safety & risk specifically geared to older adults. Contact us today to discuss how we can help with your fully managed downsizing move.