Written by Patrick Young
Going through the process of moving into a new home is a major life change, and as such it can be stressful because it requires so many details. When you’re living with a disability, moving can present even more challenges simply because you want to ensure your safety and comfort while planning for your future. It can be a time of happiness, especially if you’re buying your first house, but it can also be overwhelming.
It’s important to stay organized during the entire process. If necessary, make out some lists so you can keep track of what’s been done and what needs to be crossed off. Ask friends and family to help out and to support you during this time, which can help eliminate stress. With an estimated 49 million people in America living with a disability, remember that you’re not alone. If you have no immediate family members who can help you through this process, look for a support group in your community or online. Do some research to find out what kind of resources are available to you such as the Administration for Community Living, which can help with funding.
Read on for more tips on how to get through a move when you’re living with a disability.
Plan ahead It’s important to view the neighborhood. You may want a community that’s close to your doctor or family, or something that has a good selection of restaurants and shops nearby that don’t require a car. Do some research on the area and then narrow down your search to find the right home.
Make sure you’re covered Many people find the most frustrating part of moving is changing their address with several different organizations. When you’re living with a disability, there are several important places that need your new address, so sit down and make a list of them. Your list may include the Social Security office if you receive disability insurance, or your doctor’s office. After you’ve made the changes, double-check a few days later to make sure the new address is in their computer system.
Go over your accessibility needs It’s a good idea to write down of your needs and figure out which ones might be deal-breakers and where you can possibly have a make-it-work moment. If you’re buying a home, you’ll want to ensure your safety and mobility. For instance, examine if the doorways should be wide enough to allow a wheelchair to fit through; the countertops should be at an accessible height, and the bathroom should either have safety upgrades or at least allow for them to be done later. There may be grants in your state that will help you pay for modifications; check here.
If you’re renting, you’ll want to talk to your landlord about your housing needs.
Hire some help Even if you have a friend or family member who can help out on moving day, you may need more than that. There are moving companies that will assist with packing and unpacking, which may be just what you need to get everything done quickly and efficiently. Look into your options and check out pricing, as some companies may be competitive.
Moving can take a lot of out of you, so it’s important to practice self-care during this time. Get enough rest, eat a well-balanced diet and make time for something you enjoy doing to alleviate stress or anxiety. Talk to your loved ones about your needs and lean on them when you’re feeling overwhelmed. With a good plan, you can make this move a success.