Amid COVID concerns, plan ahead and consult family when contemplating a change of address

Amid COVID concerns, plan ahead and consult family when contemplating a change of address

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

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

Most of us don’t get a lot of practice 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.

For Good Samaritan Society communities, that list starts with a spiritual core.

“The very first thing that we'd like to bring out is that we’re a mission-driven society here,” says Lynette Wall, director of senior living at Good Samaritan Society – Davenport. “We keep our mission statement at the front of whatever we do. We conduct ourselves as Christians. We don't apologize for that. We bring that out and are proud of it.”

With that pride a common theme throughout Good Samaritan Society communities, there is still a lot to consider and discuss.

“When you’re thinking of moving you should get your family involved,” says Allyson Tator, executive manager at 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. If you anticipate you’re going to be depending on them for a lot, you want them to be part of the process in deciding on 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.

Here are some tips to consider:

Getting 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 will need to be moved. With COVID, 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,” Allyson says. “Most Good Samaritan Society 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?”

Preparing for the move – Many have realized during the pandemic that they actually don’t need or use a lot of the items in their homes.

A move is a great opportunity to get rid of things. 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. 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." – Allyson Tator, executive manager at Good Samaritan Society – Fox Run Senior Living

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, inquire about its safety measures. Since COVID, 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,” Allyson says. “They didn’t have to worry about where the movers took something and they didn't have to do any heavy lifting.”

Cleaning – 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.

This applies to both the home you’re leaving and where you’re going. If it’s a Good Samaritan Society community, conditions are monitored constantly.

“We have taken all the precautions by using social distancing and wearing masks,” Lynette says. “We’ve gone the extra mile in figuring this out so that we can go forward in a way where those living here can still have their lives enhanced by the services we offer.”

Planning during a pandemic – 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.

Moving guidelines vary from state to state and from community to community. During the pandemic it is necessary to know what local restrictions and requirements are before undertaking a move. Because Good Samaritan Society communities are located from Florida to Washington – with a concentration in the Midwest – it is necessary to know the local policies because they may differ from region to region.

These guidelines may include staggering move-in schedules, limiting the number of people in 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.

Enjoying potential benefits

Above all when contemplating a move, particularly if it is to a senior community, it is important to note that Good Samaritan Society locations across the country continue to serve as an option for those wanting to transition to community living.

Just as pandemic conditions have convinced people to postpone addressing health care issues, it has also served to slow the inclination to move.

“A lot of people are in sort of a holding pattern,” Lynette says. “But I can cite several people in Davenport who have gone ahead and done the move and feel so much better. They feel less isolated and more at peace. They’re having their needs met in a very safe way.”

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