NIWOT – Moving to a new home is a source of great excitement and happiness. But it’s also usually a somewhat stressful process, and may seem more so if you’re living with a disability. According to disabilityplanningdata.com, approximately ten percent of Coloradoans live with some type of disability. As many of the state’s residents – such as those in Boulder County – are “aging in place,” this percentage will likely increase. If you or a loved one is living with a disability, here are tips to make the moving process go more smoothly:
There are a myriad of details to handle when moving, and even more so if you’re organizing helpers and seeking financial assistance. Maintain thorough lists to keep track of it all. There are countless online options – many printable – to give you a good starting point.
Make a list of your “must haves” (and “must not haves”
Before you go looking for a new home, access your needs. What do you absolutely need in a home to ensure your safety, mobility and ease of life? Easy front door access, entry ramps, doorway widths, lack of steps, countertops heights, bathroom safety features and attached garages are all commonly needed features. What things could you live with for now and modify later? There may be state grants to help you pay for modifications; visit the Council for Disability Rights. Another consideration is the type and amount of ongoing labor required to maintain the home (and the potential associated costs), such as yard work and snow removal.
You may prefer living in a neighborhood close to family, doctors and other care-providers. Access to shops and restaurants is also a consideration. Depending on your disability, you may want to live in a flatter area or one with newer sidewalks (as opposed to flagstone ones found in older neighborhoods). If you are older, you’ll want to decide if you prefer living in a mixed-age neighborhood or one geared toward seniors that often provides many attractive services and activities.
Moving is a big process, so look for assistance. To help you through, check out local and online support groups. Even if you have friends and family to help you, you may also want to hire professional movers for the larger pieces. You may be eligible for some type of financial assistance; research organizations such as the Administration of Community Living, ADAPT – Free Our People! and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.
Convey address and phone number changes
If you’re living with a disability, there’s a good chance you have a long list of care providers. Once you’ve moved, contact those who need to be made aware of your new address and home phone number. High priority: If you receive disability benefits, contact the social security office ASAP to ensure non-stop receipt of these funds. After contacting them, it’s worth a follow-up call a few weeks later to confirm the change has been made and all is in order.
Take good care of yourself
The stress of moving can wear people down. Keeping organized will help you mentally, and talking with friends and family can help you emotionally. Be sure to also take care of yourself physically by eating well and exercising as your body allows.
By Karen Libin, KL Realty. Karen is the owner and managing broker of KL Realty, and has more than 29 years of experience in the Boulder County real estate market. Contact Karen at KL Realty, call 303.444.3177, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit klrealty.net.